Archive for the ‘Cars’ Category
Early this year, a new record was made by a solar powered car. The Sunswift solar car broke the previous speed record by a solar car, and travelled at 88km per hour; great stuff for a car that runs on less energy than a toaster!
It has to be said, though, that there was a little cheating involved to reach the top speed – the batteries that are usually in place to store the sun’s energy were removed for the experiment.
Not to be picky, but there’s another problem with the Sunswift – there’s room for the driver and a whole lot of solar panels, and that’s about it. People looking for the best family car with eco-friendly credentials shouldn’t be thinking about solar as a viable option just yet. For anyone who’s got more than just themselves to transport a hybrid offers a far more practical solution.
Family cars have been gaining more of a foothold in the hybrid market in recent years. Although hybrids started out as two-seaters, Honda, Toyota and Lexus have all seen the wisdom of producing hybrid vehicles that will hold five people or more.
We all understand how solar power is more environmentally friendly than petrol, so how can a hybrid achieve this green status while it’s still powered by petrol? Hybrid cars have a much smaller engine than in a conventional car, and an electric motor provides help with acceleration when necessary. The electric motor provides the power to pull away from standing still, saving the strain on the petrol engine. Once the vehicle is moving along at speed, the engine charges the batteries to the electric motor for later use. In this way, the hybrid burns much less fuel than a regular car, thereby earning its greener reputation.
So, while we’re waiting for the first solar family car to roll off a production line, a hybrid can offer a great solution for the environmentally conscious family today.