Bigger, Better Hybrid Cars
Through the years, it seems Americans have had a love affair with big, gas-guzzling cars, in spite of rising gas prices. So why the love for bigger cars and can hybrid technology, even in larger vehicles, still mean better fuel economy?
Can a bigger size still mean better fuel economy?
America's big car love affairWhy do Americans like big cars? Let's take a look at the SUV. SUVs, or sport utility vehicles, were originally designed for off road driving. Only a small percentage of SUV owners, however, actually take their vehicles off road. In fact, some recent SUVs were built without certain off road driving features.
So why have SUVs been so popular? For some, they could be the preferred vehicle choice for hauling a great number of passengers. Some SUVs can fit up to eight passengers. For others, the practicality of hauling and towing objects is the appeal. A family of five, with all their gear, can fit comfortably inside with enough power outside for towing a boat to the river for the weekend. For others who are big in stature, a larger vehicle can feel more comfortable. And still others might prefer sitting higher in a vehicle like an SUV because they can see better while feeling safer in the process. Finally, maybe some people just like making a statement by driving a larger car...in this case, 'bigger is better.'
The evolution of hybrid technologyHybrid technology evolved as a solution to auto emissions problems, as well as an answer to improved fuel efficiency. Over several decades, conventional cars had made their mark on our environment by emitting harmful carbon emissions, by draining our natural resources (in this case, fossil fuels), and by simply burning too much fuel, causing an increased reliance upon it.
As a general rule, larger vehicles burn more gasoline than smaller ones, with increased emissions in the process. The conventional, gas powered SUV tends to be one of the biggest offenders. The first hybrid cars to be introduced were small in size with smaller engines. As a result, they've been able to maximize fuel efficiency and create fewer emissions.
Bigger, better hybridsIn recent years, automakers found it increasingly difficult to deny drivers of their love for bigger cars. They soon began to realize that hybrid technology, which commonly uses a gasoline engine and an electric motor, can naturally benefit any car, regardless of size. In the beginning, there were only two hybrid models to choose from, but today, there are about twenty that run the gamut of size, shape and color.
Since automakers realized people weren't going to give up their love and loyalty for larger vehicles, they began incorporating hybrid technology into vehicles such as trucks and SUVs, to make them friendlier to the environment and more fuel efficient. Today, car buyers have a number of choices when it comes to large-sized hybrids, with more expected to make their debut. We've certainly come a long...and larger way, baby.
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