The hybrid cars showdown has started with the introduction of the 2010 Toyota Prius and 2010 Chevrolet Volt at the 2009 Detroit Auto Show. With the likes of Toyota Camry or Chevrolet Malibu around hybrid cars are smarter choice now.Safe, comfortable and stylish new generation hybrid cars offer economical and emission free driving.If you are ready to invest a few extra dollars for hybrid technology you can save a good amount of money in the long run.
If you find it difficult to choose between Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive and GM’s Dual Mode Hybrid technology here is an elaborate discussion that might help.
Toyota Hybrid Synergy Drive
The all new 2010 Toyota Prius comes with Hybrid Synergy Drive (HSD) system that Toyota Motors claims to be the best of modern hybrid car technologies.Toyota achieves the height of fuel efficiency with the 2010 Prius by reducing the vehicle’s weight and implementing the best of aerodynamics.Moreover,Toyota redesigned the Prius’ powertrain to increase the capacity of its electric motor.
Apart from Prius,Toyota uses the new HSD in its Camry,Highlander and some of the Lexus hybrid models.The main thing about Toyota HSD is that it uses an electromechanical system to deliver full hybrid capability to run on electric mode alone like the series hybrid cars.
With HSD the Prius gets the thrust from a combined electric and gas powertrain comprising a 1.8L WT-i petrol engine,a 60kw electric motor,high voltage nickel hydride batteries and a generator.The drivetrain also includes a power control unit along with a power split device that controls the distribution of power between the generator and the electric motor.Toyota has managed to combine all these components in a light and compact transmission case.
The 2010 Prius ensure smooth transition between three diving modes–EV,Eco and Power modes.At a speed less than 31mph the Prius automatically selects EV mode while manual selection is also allowed.The Eco mode ensures up to 15% reduction in fuel consumption by minimizing throttle response and adjusting the air conditioning.
Finally,the Power mode gives high power boost to achieve a combined 55mpg EPA rating which is every driver’s delight.The Hybrid Synergy Drive has won the Prius the Green Engine of the Year title for consecutive 5 years since 2004.
Chevrolet Dual Mode Hybrid
The recent auto reviews on Chevrolet hybrid cars reveal that the new Chevrolet Volt is a kind of gas-electric plug in vehicle which GM calls an E-REV (Extended Range Electric Vehicle).The Volt gets electric power from a 120kw 160hp electric motor teamed with a rechargeable 16kw lithium-ion battery.
Its three-cylinder gas engine shuts off automatically allowing the car run on generator power for optimized fuel consumption. GM assures a 50mpg for gasoline engine while in electric mode Volt can perform closer to 32 mile per gallon as per EPA standard.However,GM’s two-mode hybrid received the Automobile Magazine’s Technology of the Year award for 2008.GM uses this technology in Malibu and Tahoe hybrids as well.
While Toyota and Lexus models are little more expensive Chevrolet offers hybrid cars in comparatively cheaper price.Finally, it is to see who wins the battle of hybrid technology in the near future.