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The Essential Hybrid Car Handbook: A Buyer's Guideby Nick Yost
Synopses & Reviews
The hybrid car—a more eco-friendly combination of electricity and gasoline—has moved beyond the “green” cult that embraced it and now plays an important role in the plans of every major automaker. The Essential Hybrid Car Handbook
gives readers the information they need to make purchasing decisions, and a whole lot more. Presenting a thorough comparison of all models on the road today, The Essential Hybrid Car Handbook covers price, cost-effectiveness, technology, ecological advantages, their proliferation since the first Honda Insight was sold in 2000, a glimpse at who buys them, and a prediction for their future. This book presents a fascinating and comprehensive look at an entirely new breed of auto that continues to inspire great passion in its owners.
A passionate, upbeat and highly informative look at hybrid cars, their innovative technology, and the cultlike devotion surrounding them.
Wonder if now is the time to buy a hybrid car?
The Essential Hybrid Car Handbook gives you all the information you need to make a decision. With a thorough comparison of all models on the road today, this one volume covers price, cost-effectiveness, technology, and ecological advantages.
To make sure you have the fullest perspective on all your options, Nick Yos also charts the advantages and disadvantages of every viable alternative fuel - ethanol, biodiesel, hydrogen, natural gas, electricity. And he takes a close look at how the new fuel-sipping minicars stack up against hybrids.
About the Author
Nick Yost has been an automotive columnist for newspapers (Reading [PA] Eagle and Times, Washington Times) and magazines (Men’s Health, Robb Report) for more than thirty years.
Table of Contents
The Hybrid Car Book
Table of Contents
An overview of the modern hybrid car in the United States, touching on the price, technology, ecological advantages, their proliferation since the first Insight was sold in 2000, a glimpse at who buys them, and a prediction for their future. Primary sources will will be J.D. Power, for sales statistics, and manufacturers’ spokespeople.
Chapter One The Hybrid Phenomenon
Who buys them, why they buy them and the apparent cult-like devotion to them.
J. D. Power predicts that the number of hybrids sold will increase from 212,000 vehicles in 2005 to 780,000 by 2012. That would be a mere 4.2 percent of the market, but that has not discouraged the manufacturers from accelerated development programs. Toyota is now in the lead, followed by Honda and then Ford, which is basing a large share of its current promotional advertising on its big hybrid plans. But GM, Mercedes and BMW have entered a partnership to develop shared technology that could work in a wide variety of applications. And, the other manufacturers are not sitting still. Are they really so economical? Charts, worksheets, lists. Sidebar on early hybrid experiments (Porsche, etc.). Updates from consumer-focused studies about hybrids. Interview with the first person who bought a hybrid (it was a Honda Insight.) I will then interview other owners, including celebrities.
Chapter Two Simple Concept, Complicated Science
How hybrid cars work now; with lots of illustrations of engines
In a nutshell, a hybrid car combines electric motors with small, fuel efficient gasoline or diesel engines. The electric motors relieve the gasoline engine of its duties whenever possible, enhancing fuel mileage and reducing pollution. When the power of a larger engine is required, the motors work in combination with the conventional powerplant for passing, climbing hills, etc. However, making this happen seamlessly requires a coordinated effort made possible by sophisticated electronic systems. Not only must the teamwork among electric motor and engine be coordinated, but the batteries which run the electric motors must be kept charged. This is accomplished through regenerative braking whenever possible, and when that is insufficient, the generation of electric power by the gasoline engine. Sources will be spokesmen for the manufacturers.Hybrid cars are often touted as the savior of a warming environment and the key to reducing dependence on fossil fuels,. But is it that simple? How much energy does it take to produce the batteries and the electronic systems? How long do the batteries last and what happens to them when they powerplant is running all the time. Is a technology coming that will alter that? need to be replaced? Hybrids are most efficient in city traffic, returning fuel economy that is vastly superior to conventional powerplants. But the margin of victory is not nearly as great on the open road when the gasoline
Chapter Three The Cars Today
Organized by manufacturer. Including lots of sidebars, illustrations. We will commission illustrations; also will reproduce photos of cars.
This chapter will take a look at what’s on the market now, what’s around the corner and how the various manufacturers will employ hybrid technology. For example, General Motors is a big producer of gas-guzzling trucks. Hybrid truck powerplants are expected to be an important part of their future. Also includes author’s own reviews—he has done test-drives of many hybrid models in production today.
Chapter Four Final Solution or a Gateway to the Future?
Plenty of information with a good dose of upbeat futurism.
This chapter will get the experts’ opinions on whether hybrid technology is a long-term solution to reducing fossil fuel dependence or merely a stop-gap measure on the way to an entirely new technology that will eliminate oil as a power source. The talk now is of hydrogen. Vehicles have been made that run on it, but will it be cost effective? And can the country develop a viable fuel-delivery system. Are there any other, different technologies being developed?
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