Hybridized World Annotated Bibliography Hybrid Term Paper

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Gas-electric hybrids have taken their knocks for being costly and relatively inefficient at highway speeds, but they remain very much on the agenda, not just at hybrid pioneer..." (2007) McCormick further relates that the hybrid choice for many is Toyota's 'Prius' particularly for those who drive mostly in the city. Batter technology has been improved "to the point where the concept of a plug-in hybrid -- one that can be charged from the grid and/or use an onboard electrical power source (a gasoline or diesel engine or even a fuel cell) -- becomes a practical reality. GM's Chevrolet Volt concept, which debuted at the Detroit auto show, is the leading example of this effort. Much further down the road but still the focus of extensive engineering effort by most of the world's top automakers is the hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicle. To speed up the move to hydrogen, some automakers, notably Ford, are working on vehicles with internal combustion engines designed to use the fuel. On top of all these technologies, there are several intermediate developments, including use of ethanol derived from corn or cellulosic material, meaning agricultural waste." (McCormick, 2007)

McCormick states of 'Hybrids vs. diesel models' that: the consumer's point-of-view makes the hybrid and diesel vehicles the best answers for the short-term. While arguments exist supporting both the diesel and the hybrid, the hybrid models: "...are already on the market and growing in number. The number of advanced diesel models coming to U.S. showrooms is set to climb." (McCormick, 2007) the work of Christopher D. Amos entitled: "Are Hybrid-Electric Vehicles a Good Buy for Fleet?" examines the long-term cost effectiveness through a lifecycle cost-analysis for use of hybrid vehicles for fleet. Amos states that: "The decade-old controversy over the inaccuracy of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fuel-efficiency rating hit the proverbial fan when consumers buying or leasing hybrids specifically to get fuel savings learned the hard way that 'your mileage will vary'. (McCormick, 2007)

In terms of acquisition: "Most hybrids are currently so popular in the retail sales market that they more often sell at or near MSRP." (Amos, 2006) in terms of operating costs for hybrid vehicles the "operating costs for the hybrid SUV are considerably less than the convention SUV due to much better fuel efficiency even when using the Consumer Reports combined mileage rating rather than EPA's inflated values." (Amos, 2006) Amos states that the 'pros' of hybrid use include the fact that fuel-efficiency improvement reduces fuel costs and emissions. Reducing fuel burned is the surest way to reduce CO2 and other harmful greenhouse gas emissions. There may be a significant public relations benefits to organizations that choose environmentally friendly vehicles." (Amos, 2006) Secondly, "hybrids have been in such great demand that they hold value well in the resale market. With depreciation the highest single cost of vehicle ownership, above-average resale values help offset higher purchase prices." (Amos, 2006) Amos states third that "A hybrid's 'coolness factor' may positively impact employee morale and retention and organizational image." (2006) Lastly stated by Amos is that attractive tax incentives are available for most hybrids." (2006) the 'cons' for owning hybrids are listed by Amos as follows:

Light-duty hybrids typically cost $2,500 to $5,000 more than comparable convention vehicles. This creates a risk that the vehicle may be lost in a crash before the added incremental cost is paid back;

Hybrids are advanced technology vehicles, but not alternative fuel vehicles because they run predominantly on petroleum-based fuel;

Hybrids are generally only available in higher-end option packages;

There are long waiting lists for some hybrid vehicle models;

Current data is insufficient regarding maintenance and repair costs;

Hybrids have relatively high voltage and amperage electrical systems compared to other vehicles. This may present a hazard to both maintenance personnel and rescuers at the scene of a crash. Widespread safety training is needed on this issue;

Concern exists for the pedestrians who may accidentally stray into the path of a hybrid vehicle that is running on low battery power and is practically silent; and the HOV lane use by single-occupancy hybrids stands in competition with and is likely to discourage use of carpools or mass transit. (Amos, 2006)

Amos concludes by relating that hybrid vehicles appear to be a good choice in fleet acquisition for urban travel. Amos states that: "Two-mode, full-hybrid technology available in the 2007 model year promises to provide fuel savings at all speeds and assist with towing power in light trucks. Increased availability of hybrid medium- and heavy-work trucks can eliminate much of the fuel wasted idling to operate the power take-off should be a real boon to government and utility fleets - if the lifecycle costs is right." (2006)

Hybrid vehicles are reported to be "becoming mainstream choices for American consumers..." (Psysorg.com, 2005) in a recent survey of owners of hybrid vehicles findings state that "owners of hybrids were less likely than other recent buyers of new vehicles to have owned a sport-utility vehicle or pickup truck in the past five years." (Psysorg.com) Stated as well is that the primary reasons for purchase of hybrid vehicles by the owners were:

1) saving money on gas; and 2) cutting down on air pollution." (Physorg.com, 2005)

Cited as a fear or concern among those who purchase hybrid vehicles was that of higher costs in maintenance for these vehicles.

The top three choices for hybrid vehicles among consumers are:

1) Honda Civic Hybrid;

2) Honda Insight; and 3) Toyota Prius. (for Hybrid Cars, 2007)

The Honda Civic hybrid has been on the market for quite awhile now and retains at approximately $20,000 and the fuel performance is sated at 47 miles per gallon in the city and 48 miles per gallon on the road. The only drawback of this car is stated to be that it is not a fast car. The Honda Insight is a two-seater with a fuel performance of approximately 57 miles per gallon in the city and 56 miles per gallon on the road. The drawback is that this vehicle is only 71 hp. The Toyota Prius costs about $19,000 to purchase and has 110 hp getting about 60 miles per gallon in the city and about 51 miles per gallon on the highway. This is a family sized car.

The work entitled: "A Brief History of the Hybrid" states that hybrid cars are "energy efficient, environmentally friendly, politically correct and trendy." (History of the Hybrid Car, 2007) Eventfully the following additions will be available for the hybrid vehicle:

1) Stealth Mode: This allows driving without the engine running and will allow the owner to run their car "...for less than one dollar per gallon." (History of the Hybrid Car, 2007)

2) Extra Batteries: There may be the option of adding a larger battery, which may reduce gas mileage. (Ibid)

3) Solar panels: Solar panels are available now for the hybrid vehicle. Stated is: "For the Toyota Prius, these solar panels can be quite helpful when the car is parked for a long period of time in a sunny area if there is no charger available. In fact, it is reported by some drivers that when they use these solar panels, they can get up to a ten percent increase in their mileage. Be wary though. The amount of sun your solar panel can utilize will depend on the weather conditions and the size of the panels." (Ibid)

Summary and Conclusion

This work has reviewed the material relating to the hybrid vehicle. It is understood after the research that the hybrid vehicle operates on both a gasoline and an electric type engine. There are several modes of operation of the hybrid vehicle and unlike claims made in advertisements, the hybrid vehicle gets better gas mileage only in some and not all modes of operation. Findings of the research include the fact that both pros and cons exist related to purchase and ownership of the hybrid vehicle. Pros include: (1) Better gas mileage; (2) the hybrid is environmentally friendly; (3) Tax deduction of approximately $2,000 for owners of hybrids; (4) Some hybrids come with an 8-year warranty on the hybrid vehicle system; (5) Some states offer the perk of allowing driving in the HOV lane with only one occupant. Cons of ownership include: (1) if one does most of the driving on the highway the hybrid vehicle will not benefit them in the area of better gas mileage; (2) Hybrids in high demand may have a waiting list and may be priced over the window sticker price; (3) the hybrid vehicle may cost quite a bit more than the gasoline powered vehicle; (4) Gas savings may not be realized in terms of recoup on the purchase costs for several years. For companies considering hybrid fleet purchase the pros and cons are quite similar to one another however, the company who does run the hybrid vehicle…[continue]

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