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Hybrid Cars – Why Do We Have Them?

Hybrid cars and electric cars will ultimately help the countryMy brother is an avowed “tree hugger.” No joke he is as green as green can be. I can remember a debate I had with him a little over 8-years ago about fuel cell cars and hydrogen.  His whole premise was that, “They’re keeping the fuel cell vehicle from us, we could have them right now if it weren’t for them.” I responded to his claim by saying, “The concept of a fuel cell car is great, but there is no infrastructure in place for it and there won’t be for a long time. What do you do when it breaks?  That’s why we have hybrid cars and all electric.” And I continued, “Who are these ‘They’s’ you keep referring to?”

Koons carries several different manufactures and many of them have hybrid vehicles, stop by any of our showrooms to get more information on them and take one for a test drive today

For the record I am over-dramatizing our discussion, but in all fairness I am trying to make a point, and the discussion did happen but it wasn’t so much of a debate as it was just a conversation.  That said, he had no answer on the infrastructure issue, but as for “the They’s”? That was “the man, man!”  Whoever that is…

Hybrid vehicles answer the infrastructure questions very nicely for many different reasons not the least of which is, availability.  I’ll explain, so you’re driving down the street in your bright shiny new fuel cell car, when suddenly it has an issue with the “quevo-disc” (for you Seinfeld lovers you know what that is) and you need to bring it in to fix it, but alas the nearest technician is a 5-hour drive away and parts are going to take sometime to get there as well, now what do you do? You wait, that’s what you do.  You wait for the infrastructure to catch up with the technical advancement that is the fuel cell.  You see, although we could have fuel cell cars right now they’re a technology that outpaced reality.  No one knows how to care for them, hydrogen is not readily available and it’s expensive to manufacture, and parts are based on an entirely new type of engine so they aren’t readily available or warehoused and stocked around the country.

Some background:
Hybrid cars have both a standard gasoline engine and an electric engine in them.  This is the blending of two worlds; the gas engine is great for quick starts and long hauls at highway speeds.  The electric engine is great for short trips and slow starts.  Both hybrid cars and all electric are  perfect for around town driving, and with hybrids the act of driving recharges the batteries.  For those of you with all electric cars, charging stations are being built in major cities around the nation so refueling them is getting easier as well.  The other good thing about hybrids and electrics is that if something goes wrong with either the gas or electric engines, their parts are so ubiquitous and technicians are so abundant that you can get your car fixed by just about anyone.  In hybrids they have the added benefit that if the electric engine has an issue it may take a bit of doing to get it fixed but you at least can get the car to the tech that is 5 miles away for a look see by using just the gas engine.  Oh! and the parts needed to fix the gas engine are available at every major auto parts store in the country.

A hybrid vehicle is the perfect tool for the job right now, that job being, getting us from total reliance on the internal combustion engine to an all-electric vehicle dominated economy.  They are referred to as a “Bridge Technology,” as in they bridge us between those two different states, mostly what it does in this case, is allow the realities of the world to catch up with the pace of technology.  We all know that gas powered vehicles are here to stay and they will have their place along side hybrid cars, all electric, clean diesel & biodiesel but for now you have a choice and they are readily available.

Koons carries several different manufactures and many of them have hybrid vehicles, stop by any of our showrooms to get more information on them and take one for a test drive today, Mother Nature will thank you for it. ♛

 

Simplified: Hybrid and Green Technology

Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy 

Hybrid. Plug-In. Electric. Green Technology.

What do these terms mean? Well we’re hear to clear that up for you.

Simply put, a hybrid is a vehicle that utilizes two separate power sources. The most common configuration is called an HEV or Hybrid Electric Vehicle. These vehicles use  a conventional internal-combustion engine (typical engine in most cars) that is mated to an electric motor. In most applications, like the Toyota Prius, drivers have the option to use both power sources together or separately, meaning that if the driver chooses, they can drive entirely on the electric motor.

So this is where we get into Plug-In’s. A Plug-In can be either an HEV (Chevrolet Volt) or a fully electric vehicle (Nissan LEAF). The term ‘Plug-In’ refers to the ability to actually plug the car into a conventional outlet at your home or garage to charge the battery packs that power the electric motor. In addition, one thing you may see when reading about electric vehicles is the acronym MPGe. No, that’s not a typo. MPGe is actually a new standard of measure that stands for Miles Per Gallon Equivalent, since electric engines don’t use fuel.

Among the leaps and bounds made in hybrid technology, manufacturers have also been experimenting with other methods of ‘Green’ technology by developing ways to increase fuel-economy while decreasing emissions with simple approaches. Mazda has developed what they call SkyActiv technology.

Mazda’s new SkyActiv technology is their attempt at a holistic approach to improving fuel-efficiency and emissions. Mazda has taken their Mazda3 and changed nearly every aspect of it. Using lighter materials and overcoming engineering feats, they have made the car lighter, stronger and more fuel-efficient. All of the car’s components now work in perfect harmony, allowing owners to enjoy the thrill of driving while getting excellent fuel-economy.

Whether it be a hybrid, fully electric plug-in or an everyday car that just happens to get great fuel-economy, Koons Automotive is here to suit your needs.

-KK

The Accolades Come Rolling in for Kia

In the past few years, Kia has become quite the contender in not only the US market, but the global market as well. Their product line is comprised of award-winning vehicles such as the Optima, Sportage and Sorento.

This isn’t to say their other models are not privy to accolades as well; in fact, the 2012 Soul, Sorento, Optima, Optima Hybrid, Sportage, and Forte Sedan have all been named 2012 IIHS Top Safety Picks. Even the little Rio 5-Door was named ‘Best Hatchback’ by VroomGirls.com.

In addition, Kia was recently rated No. 1 for best Total Coverage of Ownership in 2011 by Kelley Blue Book. With the styling, refinement, quality and price for new Kia models, we can’t argue.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and test drive an all-new 2012 Kia Optima; it’s said to be “A Dream Car for Real Life

Drive Safe,

-KK

2012 Washington Auto Show Is Coming Your Way!

The 2012 Washington Auto Show is coming up and we couldn’t be more excited!

The first day kicks off at noon on Friday, January 27th with over 700 makes and models on display! Ride & Drives for Toyota, Fiat, and Cadillac will be running all week from 12pm to 10pm at night. In addition, be sure to attend the Advanced Technology SuperHighway, where over 28 automotive manufacturers will present 65,000 square feet of modern innovations in automotive safety and green technology.

Of all the cars on display, there are a few that you’ve got to see.  One of which is the Volvo XC60 Plug-In Hybrid Concept, a vehicle that could deliver 270 horsepower and get as much as 100 mpg! One of the best designs from recent auto shows is the 2013 Ford Fusion, a car that has garnered long stares and has already earned an award for “Best Production Vehicle” by Eyes on Design at NAIAS in Detroit.

For enthusiasts, a must-see is the all-new 2013 Scion FR-S which was created under a partnership between Toyota and Subaru to create a domineering sports coupe. We think that they’ve done just that.

2013 Scion FR-S

There are also giveaways, contests, and much, much more. So with everything that’s going on, we hope to see you there!

-KK

Here is a list of featured manufacturers that will be on display:

For directions, schedule of events, hours of operation and media galleries click here: www.washingtonautoshow.com