|PHEV: Plug-in hybrid
electric vehicles differ from traditional electric hybrid cars in one
major way: their main source of power is
electricity generated from the grid, which the cars get by plugging in
– just like any other appliance. This type of car still has a
conventional gas engine for back-up, but will use electric power first,
before relying on gas. Initially, most plug-in hybrids will be able to
travel 20-60 miles before switching over to gas power. That means that
commuters who drive to and from work, with a few errands along the way,
can recharge every night and almost never use gas.
can literally plug in to a 110-volt outlet. If you get your power from
a clean energy source, like wind or solar energy, you will have the
smallest carbon footprint possible for today’s driver. Even
if the energy at your home still comes from less clean sources, the
amount of pollution it takes to charge the plug-in hybrid is less than
it takes to fill your gas tank. Also, running on electricity reduces
your car’s emissions. No longer will we measure fuel
efficiency in miles per gallon (mpg). When plugin electric cars go
mainstream, you will boast about your cost per mile (cpm).
Plug-in hybrids are poised to revolutionize the way we drive and
consume fuel. Automakers are racing to be the first to introduce a
mass-produced plug-in car. Here
is a quick run-down of the
- Toyota. Toyota wants to put a
plug-in version of the Prius on the road by 2010. It appears this will
happen in 2012.
- GM. Chevy is already marketing the
Volt, the plugin car they hope to have for sale by 2010. They got it
done but don't expect to find many until 2012.
- Ford. The American carmaker is
most likely to release a plug-in SUV or pick-up, possibly a Ford
Escape. Update - the plug-in Focus may be the answer.
- BYD (China).BYD is
China’s largest battery company and they have developed
several plug-in hybrids that could be on Chinese roads as early as this
year, with sales moving to Europe and possibly the U.S. by 2010.
- Fisker. The new-comer on the
American car scene is developing a luxury plug-in sports car.
- Aptera. This motorcycle
manufacturer is getting in on the game by developing a tiny two-seater
- Volkswagen. Thanks to some cash
from the German government, VW is planning on a plug-in version of the
Golf to hit the streets in 2010 or 2011.
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