Image Gallery: Diesel Engines Diesel-powered vehicles have a dirty reputation in the United States; however, cleaner diesel engines are on the way. See pictures of diesel engines. Joe Raedle/Getty Images The rusty old diesel Mercedes-Benz sedan slowly creeps down the road. Its rattling engine can be heard from a mile away as the driver has to downshift to climb a hill while clouds of black smoke spew from its tailpipe. This is what many Americans imagine when they think of a car with a diesel engine: Noisy, dirty, unreliable and often underpowered. Both diesel engines and the fuel that powers them are more expensive in the United States than in Europe, where about 50 percent of all cars are diesels. Also, emissions regulations in some states mean that diesel cars cannot even be sold there. Modern diesel engines are moving away from the stereotype of being noisy and polluting, and new diesel technologies from automakers like BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen are producing … [Read more...] about How Diesel-fueled Hybrids Work
Your choice in hybrid cars is wider than ever. It ranges from the fuel-sipping $22,000 Toyota Prius to the $55,000 339-horsepower Lexus GS 450h sports sedan. In between is a fascinating range of affordable family cars and SUVs. This article is a capsule look at all 10 of the 2007-model hybrids on sale in the U.S. None requires plug-in charging, and all use an electric motor to either assist their gas engine or to provide substitute power. The 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid is a five-passenger compact SUV. Its four-cylinder gas engine and electric motor combine for 155 horsepower. The two-wheel-drive version starts at $25,655 and has EPA ratings of 36 mpg city, 31 highway. The all-wheel-drive model starts at $27,260 and is rated at 32/29. Want to know more? Try these articles: How does the Ford Escape Hybrid stack up against its compact-SUV rival, the Saturn Vue Green Line?How does a hybrid car work? And how should it be driven for maximum fuel-efficiency?The EPA admits its fuel economy … [Read more...] about 2007 Hybrid Car Pictures
The three-in-one Hybrid Sports Bike combines pedal power with electric and gas motors. Photo courtesy of Tomas Bubilek The prototypes unveiled at auto shows are often the stuff of fantasy -- almost like high-gloss spaceships with tires leaning more toward art than form of transport. In most cases, there's no real intention to manufacture. But who cares? Look at those curves. (The car, too.) A few of those prototypes, however, are intended for actual street use. One such vehicle, called the Hybrid Sports Bike, or HSB, received a rather warm reception at the 2012 L.A. Auto Show -- not bad for a first-of-its-kind hybrid bike created by a then-grad student over the course of a year [source: Bubilek]. To be fair, plenty of other vehicles have what the HSB has, but not all-in-one -- a big difference, as we know from the likes of universal remotes, smartphones and Internet-connected, DVD-playing, Blu-ray-equipped video-gaming systems. The Hybrid Sports Bike is a three-in-one, and the … [Read more...] about How the Hybrid Sports Bicycle Works
How much would it cost to insure this Audi E-Tron electric sports car? See more pictures of sports cars. Bryan Mitchell/Getty Images For most hybrid drivers, the decision to ditch the gas guzzler for something a little more green is about lifestyle rather than economics. Operating on both electrical and traditional fuel, hybrids are able to avoid using gas for long driving periods by utilizing a battery-powered electric motor. This saves owners money at the pump, but not necessarily enough to justify the higher price tag that comes along with a Prius or Volt as compared to similar, less fuel-efficient vehicles [source: Helton]. Yet while gas is an increasingly significant cost of life on the road, it isn't the only one. Auto insurance can also set drivers back a pretty penny. Does driving a hybrid help cut costs on this end too? Some big name auto insurers offer rate discounts for hybrid drivers. Travelers and Farmers, for example, give hybrid and alternative fuel vehicle … [Read more...] about How does buying a hybrid car affect your insurance rate?
This image shows the jump-start terminal of a 2010 Toyota Prius. The terminal has a black cover that shuts over top of it and is located on the right side of the car, if you're facing the front of the Prius. Allison Loudermilk/HowStuffWorks Dealing with a dead battery in a hybrid car is somewhat more complicated than a dead battery in a regular gasoline car, but it's probably not quite as bad as you might believe. Why? Well, not all hybrid systems are created equal. Since the powertrains are not standardized across the hybrid auto industry, there's a lot of variation across brands and even within the same brand over model year redesigns.Many hybrid cars have more than one battery, and they might not be located where you expect them to be.Some hybrid cars do need a trip to the dealership if the battery dies.Some new hybrid models can jump-start themselves. Jump-starting any car is dangerous if you don't know what you're doing. Hybrids add extra anxiety to the procedure. In … [Read more...] about Can You Jump-start a Hybrid Car?