Hybrid Cars, the Past and the Future ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Hybrid Cars, the Past and the Future

Friday, August 31, 2007

Hybrid Cars, the Past and the Future

An interesting story is developing as several news stories detail the past, the present and where the world is headed in the future as it relates to hybrid cars, the auto industry and the emissions cars produce.

Over the 15 years from 1990 to 2005, five of the top six car makers increased their emissions (Det Free Press found via GCC). The rating was measured per vehicle. Nissan saw the biggest jump (up 9.2%) while Toyota was the only major car maker to decrease its per vehicle carbon dioxide emissions drop (3%). A majority of Toyotas improvements come from strong sales of the Corolla and the Prius. Toyota also had the largest carbon burden growth, due to increased sales.

But that's the past. In the present, the average CO2 emissions dropped 3% from 2004 to 2005. And in the past year, fuel economy increased for the first time in three years. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2007 models would average 26.4 mpg, an increase of 1 mpg from 2006. It has held steady in the previous two years. (Source: Det Free Press via GCC). This is a new record in fuel economy for new cars solds. The previous record was 26.2 mpg in 1987. Note that these numbers are subject to change as sales of 2007 models are updated.

Honda has the highest fuel economy rating at 39.9 mpg for imported models and 33.7 for cars made in the US, while Toyota gets 38.5 mpg for its imports and 31.7 for domestics. Their high numbers are being attributed to strong sales of their hybrid cars. DaimlerChrysler showed the biggest improvement, increasing 3 to 28.6 mpg.

As fuel prices have increased, so have car buyers tendencies to buy smaller and more fuel efficient vehicles. Which means its really easy to see where things are going. More hybrid cars and SUVs are coming out every year. Consumers are moving the car companies away from the bigger is better mentality and into the more efficient is better.

At the same time, automakers are losing ground in their fight to stall increase CAFE standards. Based on these numbers, it's becoming obvious 1) they can build more efficient vehicles and
2) people will buy them

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