Hybrid technology Essay
Rising oil prices, relatively rigid mileage limits, and a huge oil imports have forced the world to search for alternate and efficient transportation technologies. A number of options have been searched and looked for in this respect that range from electric, ethanol, fuel cell to solar energy operated vehicles. Among all the technologies developed and tried, one of the most promising and industry popular technology is hybrid vehicle technology that is finding support among government and public as well for its environment friendly and economic advantages. Hybrid Technology.
As the name suggests, hybrid technology combine dual technologies in vehicles for their operation. Technically they are hybrid electric vehicle with an electric motor that drives the vehicle (Hoogma, Kemp, Schot and Truffer, 2002, 41 ). In the case of a typical electric vehicle, hydrogen fuel cell or chemical batteries such as advanced sealed lead battery, nickel cadmium and lithium ion are used for auxiliary power (Aldrich, 1996). However in the hybrid electric vehicles, the electric drive technology is combined with a gasoline-based power generator for running the electric motor and charging the batteries.
Hybrid vehicles are either full hybrid or mid hybrid. A full hybrid vehicle can move forward from standstill purely on electric power while a mid hybrid requires gasoline power for initial movement, although both technologies concentrate on maximum utilization of electric motor power while reducing the use of gasoline as far as possible (Hoogma, Kemp, Schot and Truffer, 2002, 41). The electric motor and internal combustion engine (ICE) are connected either in parallel or in series in a hybrid vehicle.
In parallel hybrid cars, power to engine is supplied by both the electric motor and internal combustion engine while in the series hybrid car the gasoline engine powers the electric motor and batteries to generate electricity, without directly providing power for the vehicle (Aldrich, 1996). There is another category of hybrid vehicles, called as ‘plug-in hybrid’ that can operate as a full electric vehicle. They require some additional batteries and use electricity net to charge the batteries thereby minimizing gasoline use to its lowest possible levels (Aldrich, 1996).
All hybrid electric vehicle use computer that constantly monitors speed, power required and charge conditions of batteries (Aldrich, 1996). Hybrid vehicles offer numerous benefits over the conventional gasoline based ICE, some of which are (; Sanna, 2007, 12; Aldrich, 1996, 88 ) 1. Hybrid vehicles are extremely fuel efficient, with most of the driving thrust coming from electric power. 2. Unlike electric cars, they offer unlimited range of traveling and transportation 3. Hybrid technology is combination of the proven technology of ICE with electric motors, thus giving it reliability in the market.
4. Hybrid technology can be used in various sectors of transportation, from personal vehicles to heavy duty vehicles. In fact, both the major US car manufacturers, GM and Ford have come out with a range of hybrid vehicles, that are successful in market. 5. Plug in -Hybrid technology is even more fuel conserving and environmentally benign, cutting down CO2 emission by more than 30 % while using minimum possible use of gasoline. Hybrid vehicles offer the most reliable alternate technology which US can capitalize upon without risking any major upheaval in its current fuel-technology structure.
These vehicles promise to drastically reduce fuel oil consumption, reducing the needs of oil imports, meanwhile purchasing time for completely oil free technology.
Reference Aldrich, Bob.. ABCs of AFVs: a guide to alternative fuel vehicles. California Energy Commission, Sacramento-CA. April 1996. 1st Feb 2007 http://www. p2pays. org/ref/26/25156. pdf Sanna Lucy. Driving the Solution: Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles. EPRI Journal. 1st Feb 2007. Hoogma Recmo, Rene Kemp, John Schot, Bernhard Truffer. Experimenting for Sustainable Transport: The Approach of Strategic Niche Management. : Spon Press: New York: 2002. 36.