hybrid car

How will temperature affect MPGe?

As every driver in colder regions of the world knows, a low temperature can make it harder to start your car - but why?

If you're like me, you probably tend to think about your car's fuel consumption in terms of miles per gallon (or maybe kilometers per liter) rather than the total distance you can travel without stopping to fill up. And that's fine -- as long as you're driving a conventional, gasoline- or diesel-powered car or truck. But now that there are a few plug-in hybrid options available to us, we have some other important numbers to consider: all-electric range and total range. All-electric range is just what it sounds like -- in fact, it's probably the number that attracted you to...

As I drove from the suburbs into the city early this morning, I had a little time to ponder another car question. I was wondering how my choice of vehicle would be affected by where I live. The car I drive seems perfect for my current needs, but what if I moved into the city?

Do you think you're ready for today's High Speed Stuff wrap-up? I'll tell you ahead of time that Ben and I have been talking about some pretty crazy stuff on our podcast recently. So, if you're interested, let's take a few moments to review what we've been up to over the past several days.

Hybrid Cars. I know they've been a popular choice over the past several years, but it truly seems like they're all over the place now. Hybrids are a common sight on the roadways, they're parked in plenty of garages and driveways and the next time you're at the mall, the local park or the grocery store take a look around you when you're in the parking lot -- they're everywhere.

Over the weekend I read an article by Hiroko Tabuchi in The New York Times that caught me a little off-guard. I don't know why the news was so unexpected -- but it was. As you know, here in the states, auto production (with very few exceptions) has been greatly reduced or even halted in some cases. But did you know that they're working overtime at the Toyota Prius factories in Japan?

Well that doesn't sound right, does it? After all, Honda builds great cars, not terrible cars...right? In fact, as far back as I can remember, there's been nothing but praise for Honda's lineup. And the bad press doesn't end there -- this particular critic has plenty more to say. So, can you guess who's calling out the latest hybrid car from Honda?

By now you've probably hard the news that the third-generation Toyota Prius, better known as the 2010 Toyota Prius, will be the most fuel-efficient vehicle you can buy in the United States when it hits the market this June. How fuel efficient? Well, with a combined (city/highway) EPA estimated fuel economy rating of 50 miles per gallon, the 2010 Prius is well ahead of the ever-growing hybrid car competition at this point. There simply aren't any other hybrid cars available that have reached the 50 mpg threshold...not yet, anyway. However, being on top in the hybrid car segment isn't exactly new to Toyota. In fact, according to fueleconomy.gov, the 2009 Toyota Prius is listed as the current model year's most efficient EPA certified vehicle achieving 48 mpg in the city, 45 miles per gallon on the highway for a combined mileage average of 46 miles per gallon. So, how did Toyota further refine this already fuel-efficient sedan?

In an effort to get every possible bit of fuel efficiency out of a hybrid car, auto manufacturers pay careful attention to the details. Aside from the gas engine and electric motor combination found under the hood, a hybrid's weight and aerodynamics play a significant role, too. Most people understand why these factors are important in a fuel-efficient design; however...

Here's a surprising tidbit of auto history for you today: The hybrid car idea is well over 100 years old. Ferdinand Porsche, creator of Volkswagen and father of Ferdinand Anton Ernst Porsche (aka Ferry Porsche), is credited with developing an electric car way back in 1898 (not the first electric car, by the way). This was followed soon after by the first hybrid car in 1901. If you weren't aware of this historic automotive fact already, you can get a fairly concise history of Porsche's innovative electric car design as well as a glimpse of his first hybrid car design in this article by Peter Valdes-Dapena. However, Porsche is not the first U.S. Patent holder for a hybrid car design.