Sunday, July 7, 2013

Hybrid Cars Going Mainstream

Drivers fed up with forking over a small ransom to fuel their cars at the gas pump, combined with ethical and environmental concerns regarding societal dependence on the oil industry, are increasingly opting for hybrid cars. These vehicles feature a small fuel-efficient gas engine combined with an electric motor that assists the engine while accelerating. The motor is powered by batteries that automatically recharge as you drive, giving 20 or 30 miles more per gallon than a standard automobile. As fuel efficiency is a top priority for many consumers, industry experts believe that the hybrid vehicle may be at a tipping point, on the verge of mainstream acceptance.

Industry Evolution

Since the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle was introduced in Japan by Toyota in 1997, there has been a steady rise in awareness and acceptance of this technology. Most manufacturers now have or are planning a hybrid car in the market. Hybrids today are about 3 percent of new sales but as they win environmental awards and demographics change, sales are expected to double in the next five years. They cost more initially than normal cars but as the technology improves along with economies of scale, the price premium should steadily lower. Recently "plug-in" hybrid cars have been developed, which extend the range of the "electric-only" driving mode by offering the added benefit of being able to be plugged into home electric outlets for recharging when not in use.

Unique Attributes

Gasoline-electric hybrids are a compromise between fuel-intensive, polluting gas power and clean energy-providing but low-range and inconvenient electric power. The two power sources can be combined as:

- Parallel Hybrid: the gasoline engine and electric motor work together to propel the car

- Series Hybrid: the engine either directly powers an electric motor or charges its batteries

They gain efficiency from smaller engines, regenerative braking in which the batteries are charged as the car slows, periodic engine shut-off when stuck in traffic, advanced aerodynamics to reduce drag, low-rolling resistance tires and lightweight materials.

Maintenance Issues

Since the electrical component takes some load off the engine, hybrids don't need as many oil, air filter and brake pad changes. The best way of diagnosing potential problems is by listening for strange noises and taking it for regular, routine check-ups. A hybrid auto service technician is specifically trained to deal with the alternating current and voltages under the hood; charging, cooling and braking systems; and battery maintenance. Proper parts are absolutely necessary for hybrids and there are specific, expensive batteries that must be used. Safety is of utmost importance in understanding the colour-coded, high-voltage wiring systems. Preventative maintenance is even more important in hybrids to save mechanical issues in the long-term. As the market for hybrid and electric vehicles gains momentum, mechanic colleges are adapting to the increased demand for qualified technicians.

Visit the Automotive Training Centres for more information on automobile maintenance and dispatcher training.

Patrick Quinn is a Copywriter at Higher Education Marketing, a leading web marketing firm specializing in Google Analytics, Education Lead Generation, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Social Media Marketing, and Pay Per Click Marketing, among other web marketing services and tools.

The Benefits of a Car DVR

Our cars are some of the biggest purchases we make throughout our lives. The only things that we pay more for than our cars are our homes and property holdings. We generally trade in or buy new vehicles more frequently than we buy new homes and property so the amount we spend on our vehicles often ends up being about the same as what we spend on our other large purchases. This is why the car DVR was invented and so many people are installing them.

The car DVR system allows you to have a recording of anyone that breaks into or vandalizes your property. Millions of cars are vandalized each year. Some of these vehicles are parked in the driveways of their owners while others are parked in secure parking garages. The vandalism does not just occur in the seedy parts of town where cars are parked on the edges of streets that are poorly lit.

Many thieves love to break into automobiles and steal the stereo equipment that is in them. We spend large amounts of time in our vehicles and many people spend large amounts of money putting stereo equipment in their vehicles that is very expensive. They want to be able to enjoy their music, but thieves love to steal these items and sell them on the black market. The car DVR can prove who stole your stereo equipment and can stop them from stealing from anyone else in the future.

The car DVR can also stop thieves from stealing your automobile for the seats that are in it, or the video equipment that is in it. There are thieves that strip cars to sell the parts to parts suppliers who then sell them to people who need the item to repair their cars. This is big money in some areas and there are some automobiles that are worth more as parts than they were worth as a whole.

If you have to leave your vehicle at train stations, bus stations, and airports while you are away on business then these systems can allow you to leave them with the peace of mind that should anything happen to them you will be able to identify the perpetrator and get your items replaced through your insurance company. You may also get a reduced insurance rate because you install this type of security system. A car DVR can afford you peace of mind when you have to leave your car in a parking garage or parking lot for long periods.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Harley Davidson engines 1911-2007 infographic

Andy Gregg's bike furniture had all but the first photo, that and more are at

Interesting new brake light idea... why not?

a new pinstripe thing, records.. and they look cool

anyone know anything about this "Artists against Humger, SD 3rd annual"?

images found on

more cool stuff from SwissStache

  Above is a GT40 used during the filming of LeMans
 Above: a rare Porsche
 Above: Dodge power wagons with the french military
 Above, Henry Ford and the 999 being driven by Barney Oldfield