The Hybrid Car Report The Hybrid Car Report
Saving energy and the environment is on the mind of every person as well as every business. Energy-saving conferences are being held at major universities across the country.
Right now, thousands of people are independently researching whether they will purchase a hybrid car. Thousands of others are enjoying their first ride in a friend or family member’s hybrid. Local government agencies are analyzing the benefits of introducing hybrid buses to their public transportation system, if they haven’t already. Worldwide shipping companies are adding hybrid delivery trucks to their fleet. And right now, you are reading an informational report about hybrid cars -- proving yet again that more and more people seek to find out what this fuel-efficient, environmentally friendly technology is all about.
So, what does the term hybrid mean? In short, a hybrid is a cross between two entities from plants or animals, to yes, cars. If you breed a Labrador Retriever with a Poodle the puppies will be Labradoodles, or hybrid dogs. If you cross a car that runs on gas with a car that runs on a battery, you have a hybrid car (part gas, part battery.) Hybrid cars can be a combination of various fuel alternatives such as part battery, part used vegetable grease. With the bas/battery hybrid example, the car runs on gas on the open road, and the battery during starts, stops, and idles. Hybrid cars have been highly advertised as fuel-efficient “green” cars meaning they are better for the environment, and it is perhaps this feature which is its greatest benefit. There are quite a few compact fuel-efficient cars on the market, but those cars can give off about three times more pollution than a hybrid. So, when considering a hybrid, think more of the environment and long-term benefits, rather than any short term fuel savings.
Hybrid Buying Trends
The US may be scoffed at for driving gas-guzzling SUVs, or being dependent on our vehicles, but who can laugh at the fact that we are also the country that purchases more hybrid cars than any other in the world?
The Stars and Their Cars
Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Bill Maher, Donna Mills, Woody Harrelson, Patricia Arquette, Cameron Diaz, Danny DeVito, Marcia Gay Harden, Richard Klein, Richard Dreyfuss, Donnie Osmond, David Duchovny, Meryl Streep, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tom Hanks, Calista Flockhart, and Harrison Ford are just a few of the stars who drive hybrid cars, according to AmIAnnoying.com.
The average American needs convenience and auto space, but also cares about conserving resources and the environment. One reason Americans don’t buy more hybrid cars is that they simply need more information, and even after that, they may not be ready to buy their first hybrid car. Some people simply cannot be the first to try something new, even if it is a good idea. Regardless, it is important to know the facts now, so that in the future choosing the right hybrid will be an easier one.
The Best-Selling Hybrids
In 2005, according to J.D. Power & Associates, Toyota accounted for more than 63% of the hybrid market, Honda trailed with 25%, and Ford sputtered at the end with 9.4%. For now, Toyota is a leader in the market, but with other makers such as Nissan, Ford, GM, Daimler Chrylser, and Hyundai introducing new models and stepping up production, that can change.
It is no surprise that Toyota and Honda dominate the hybrid industry. Considering that Toyota was the first auto manufacturer to offer a hybrid car (the Prius) on the mass market in 1999, it would be kind of sad if they didn’t dominate! Their first competitor, Honda, wouldn’t arrive on the scene for another five years with the Civic. While Toyota and Honda have been the main stream pioneers, other manufacturers are joining in.
The Near Future of Hybrids
While Toyota has dominated thus far, Lexus, which has ranked highest in Vehicle Dependability for 11 straight years, now produces a hybrid. The Highlander will do doubt put the pedal to the metal in sales of their new, and larger, hybrid models.
Hybrids are by no means taking over the world—yet. According to J.D. Power and Associates, total hybrid sales eat up only .5 percent of US car and light-truck sales. Compare that to 3% of diesel sales and it may seem that light diesel may ultimately turn out to be the greenest of US cars for both consumers and manufacturers. But scientists continue to research and test the benefits of each, so look for both the hybrid and light diesel vehicles to evolve in the coming decade.
Between 2005 and 2012, sales of hybrid-electric vehicles in the US are forecasted by J.D. Power and Associated to grow by more than 160 percent. To give you a view of those numbers from a different angle, that means that the sales of hybrid cars will go from 212,000 in 2005 to 780,000 by 2012!
Why the spike in sales? There are a number of reasons: consumer awareness, education about hybrids, and an increase in hybrid manufacturers. Right now there are just over ten hybrid models on the US market, but by 2012 there will be an estimated 50. The more manufacturers competing in this market, the more options we’ll see in hybrid models, leading to more sales, more education, and more manufacturers.
More information on Hybrid Electric Vehicles