Hybrid Cars Are On The Rise - And So Are Sales

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Since the U.S. recession began, many folks have looked for ways to downsize, to cut costs, and conserve. All of this could explain the jump in sales of smaller, more fuel-efficient cars beginning in January of this year. Cutting vehicle costs creates a big reduction in those monthly bills, which is most likely why automakers saw a 7.6 percent increase in Hybrid car sales from a year ago.

Hybrids use electric batteries to supplement their gas engines and are a normal, fuel efficient car that has two motors - an electric motor and a gasoline powered motor.

These popular Hybrids are the most gasoline efficient of all cars averaging 48 to 60 mpg. Although other fuel efficient cars can get up to 36 mpg, their prices are remaining lower than the Hybrids, which cost between $19,000 and $25,000, and a fuel efficient car, like the Honda Civic, costs in the $14,000 to $17,000 range.

So why Hybrids, you may ask? Mostly it's the electric motor that saves even more fuel than a fuel-efficient car.

Electric motors use no energy during idle, and they turn off, using less fuel than gas motors at low speeds. Gas motors do better at high speeds and can deliver more power. So, during rush hour stop and go traffic, the electric motor works great, but at higher speeds, the gas motor kicks in to offer added power and pep on the highway.

Hybrids also offer a serious reduction in those nasty emissions that are creating greenhouse gasses. In the city, where smog and pollution is the worst, they make a huge dent in their carbon contribution while the electric motor is engaged.

A hybrid cuts emissions by 25 to 35 percent over even the most fuel-efficient gas powered vehicles.

Another huge benefit to Hybrids, which is drawing a lot of customers, is that the gas motor turns on to charge the batteries, never leaving you stranded and looking for a charge for your exclusively electric powered car.

More incentive is that the motors and batteries in Hybrids do not require maintenance over the life of the vehicle and the engine doesn't need any more maintenance than in any other car.

Many auto experts suggest that Hybrids are the transitional vehicle meant to bring consumer attention to the environmental crisi in reducing emissions, while technology for hydrogen or methane fuel cell powered cars of the future are available.

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