When gas prices started to rise, along with the concern about the long-term availability of fossil fuels, interest in hybrid cars increased quickly. They have significantly higher fuel efficiency compared to their standard gasoline counterparts, and make more effective use of the energy produced by the engine. In the early 2000’s several celebrities started driving hybrids, which also helped make them fashionable to own in addition to practical. Now most car manufacturers have one or more hybrid options, including cars and SUVs. Hybrid cars have more efficient engines, save the owner money, and reduce one’s carbon footprint.
First, one needs to know what a hybrid vehicle is and how it varies from a standard gasoline vehicle. The
…show more content…
Now, almost every manufacturer has at least one model of hybrid vehicle available. Previously, the majority of the hybrid vehicle stock was mid-priced sedans, but you can now get luxury cars such as the Mercedes-Benz ML450, and hybrid SUVs such as the Toyota Highlander as well (US Dept of Energy). Despite the variety now available, the Toyota Prius is still one of the better known and most popular hybrid cars.
When it comes to manufacturing, the process is similar between gasoline and gas-electric hybrids. However, most factories only manufacture either one or the other between gasoline and hybrid vehicles. The upgrades to existing factories can be costly to manufacture hybrids. Ford in Michigan is upgrading their factory to produce hybrids and electric vehicles, and the reported cost is approximately $550 million. Also, there will be a “500-kW solar panel system” to help produce renewable energy for the factory (Welding Journal p 11). The main difference in the manufacture of the hybrid vehicle is that the additional electric motor and the battery must also be built. There are some detractors that say that the manufacture of the battery causes more pollution than a standard vehicle’s