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Hybrids On The Market Now Are For Small People

Aug 17, 2007
Gas prices have skyrocketed over the course of the last few years. Due to these incredibly high prices, many people are purchasing hybrid cars. A vehicle is considered a hybrid when it combines power sources to increase performance capabilities. In the case of most current hybrid automobiles, the cars are powered by both gasoline and an electric motor. There are two types of hybrid cars. One type is a parallel hybrid. In this type of vehicle, both the gasoline portion of the engine and the electric motor are connected to the transmission of the car. This means the car is able to run off of either power source. Another type of hybrid vehicle is the series hybrid. In this type of automobile, the gas powered engine runs a generator. The generator powers the electric motor. The electric motor runs the car. Hybrid cars are quite popular because of fuel efficiency. However, the major drawback to the most fuel efficient hybrid vehicles is the size of the car and being well over six feet tall and 250 pounds doesn't help matters!

When dealing with vehicles, the smaller the size of the engine, the more efficient the vehicle turns out to be. One reason this is true is that larger engines are heavier than smaller engines. As a result, when the car goes faster, or tries to climb a hill, it must use extra power. A small car would use less power in either of these situations. Additionally, in a smaller engine, the internal workings of the machine are lighter. When they move within the engine, they require less energy than those of a large engine do. Another good reason for a small engine is cylinder displacement. In a large vehicle, cylinder displacement is bigger, so the car has to have more power. Finally, the bigger the engine, the more cylinders it requires. Since cylinders use power whether the car is running or not, a smaller engine with fewer cylinders is far more efficient. Because smaller engines are best to power smaller vehicles, hybrid manufactures have tried to stay with smaller cars.

One of the smallest hybrid vehicles is the Honda Insight. The Insight is a two door vehicle that seats two people. In creating this vehicle, Honda believed that owners of this car would be the type who usually only have one or two people in the car anyway. To make the car incredibly efficient, Honda reduced the size as much as possible. That offers the car more power and more fuel efficiency, which is something most hybrid owners are searching for. In addition to the small seating area, they also offer very limited cargo and luggage space. Again, the thinking here is smaller is better in terms of engine efficiency. It pays off in terms of gas mileage, but many people are unhappy with the overall size of the vehicle, which leads them to purchase cars with regular engines based purely on interior and cargo space.

The Toyota Prius is another fairly small hybrid vehicle. This one, though, offers a bit more space than the Insight. The Prius features four doors and can fit up to five people, though that is often seen as a bit of a tight squeeze. It offers a hatchback type access and slightly more trunk space than the Insight. The Prius has received a number of awards and honors, but in terms of the standard family vehicles of today, it still falls short on interior and exterior room.

Similar in size the Prius is Honda's Civic hybrid. It offers all of the size and cargo space of the traditionally built Civic. They have attempted to add space compartments in every possible area to help people feel that it is a roomier car. Most people, though, still want something larger than the Civic. Most people are looking for something to replace the family sport utility vehicle or minivan.

While hybrid sport utility vehicles and minivans are beginning to make an appearance on the hybrid market, they simply aren't worth the extra hassle and price, as the gas mileage is unacceptably poor for vehicles that cost as much as two to three thousand dollars more than a traditionally built engine. The bottom line with hybrid vehicles is that if you're looking for something large, you are simply not going to find it with the hybrids on the market today.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is a business consultant and author for many online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida with his 16 year old son. Get quality car care products for your car at http://www.5starshine.com
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