Learn How You Can Plug-in Your Hybrid


Update by Hybrid Honey
To Plug, or not To Plug?  That’s the question.  The biggest advantage of today’s gas/electric hybrids is that they don’t need to be plugged in to a power source in order to recharge their batteries. So what’s with all the static about automakers Chevrolet and Toyota plug-in hybrids such as the Chevrolet Volt, or the Toyota Prius with a Hymotion L5 conversion kit from A123 System

Prius with L5 Conversion Kit installed

When larger or additional batteries are added to the equation, plug-in hybrids can run exclusively on electricity more of the time than conventional hybrids can.  The end result is that they use less gasoline says Poughkeepsie Toyota dealers.  A 42-mpg Toyota Prius Touring model was tested with a plug-in conversion and its gas mileage increased to 67 mpg overall, during the first 35 miles of test driving, after the battery depleted its charge.  A Lexington Toyota dealer says this is great news for a driver with a relatively short commute because it drastically cuts gasoline consumption.  Tell that to the 78% of Americans who drive less than 40 miles per day, round-trip (according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics).

L5 Conversion Kit
The Hymotion L5 conversion kit, by A123 Systems, was installed at a Toyota dealership in Massachusetts, one of seven U.S. service centers that do the conversion.  Although the standard hybrid system including the nickel-metal battery remains intact, Toyota dealer Cheyenne warns this is not a minor addition of a few Toyota parts as the conversion adds a large, 5 Kilowatt Hour lithium battery pack and a 110 Volt charging port at the rear bumper of the vehicle.  The existing energy monitor in the Prius’ dashboard is also modified to show the new battery’s amount of charge.
Westminster Toyota dealer says that system ran exclusively on electric power while the on-board batteries remain charged could mean that drivers that make solely shorter trips might never use any gasoline at all.  The gasoline engine will only ‘kick in’ to recharge the battery pack if and when needed. The gasoline engine does not power the vehicle directly.

The cost of converting the Prius to plug-in power was more than one could ever expect to see in actual gas savings admits Toyota dealers Olympia.  Plus the actual 8 mpg achieved during testing was not quite up to par with claims of 100 mpg.  HoweverFind Article, the plug-in Prius does show that this technology will produce huge gains in fuel-economy.  And we drivers are more than happy to be headed in this direction for the future of hybrid vehicles.



*Update: I've just visited the Lincoln exhibit at the Texas State Fair, home of the deep fried everything.  I spoke with one of their best representatives, Jevon Spencer, as he showed me the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid.  Jevon informed me of something very interesting.  Ford does not charge more for their hybrids.  That is good information to know.  Let's all run down to the Ford dealer and get an MKZ Hybrid right now.  Don't forget to tell them Hybrid Honey sent you.  Look for more on the MKZ Hybrid real soon.

The sole purpose for buying a hybrid is to save money, and by saving money I mean loads of it. In late June, 2015 the price of regular gasoline averaged $2.78 per gallon across the U.S.  That means car owners who once filled their tank with just $25 would need up to $40 to do so.  This is a very sharp increase in gasoline prices making consumers and manufacturers alike search for better and more energy efficient vehicles.  Hence the year on year improvements in hybrids we see.

Hybrids owe their energy efficiency to their design.  They have two power sources, the standard engine and the electric motors, which can work independently or co-currently. This arrangement allows manufacturers to deliver the required power at a very cheap cost. Acquiring anything in life comes with a price, this price can be worth it or not; depending on the long and short run benefits accrued in the process. Here are a few economic reasons why, as home managers and more, hybrids are the right choice.

·         Economics of buying
It is true that most hybrids were expensive to buy and it is also very true that it is cheap to own. The hybrid car is more expensive to buy than a standard car in the same size and class, but it often turns out to be a better deal in the long run. One of the most obvious reasons for this is that hybrids run on less fuel than the standard vehicle, one can save up to 50% of the monthly budget on gasoline. Take for example, in city conditions a very good hybrid such as the VW’s CC can do up to 70mpg, this value is light years ahead of the value for a standard VW Coupe.

·         Favorable Economic Laws
 It is also very important to state that some countries, especially in Europe, are taking the initiative to give green car owners incentives e.g. in Belgium hybrid owners get up to 15% of their purchase price from the government, tax deductions that can be up to $2000, in the U.S. hybrids purchased after December 31, 2005 are eligible for federal income tax credit of up to $3,400. The examples mentioned are just a few of the income that can be accrued from just buying a hybrid. This income can be used for other important things such as groceries, bills, childrens' school uniforms etc.

·         Maintenance costs
A standard vehicle has to be continuously maintained from time to time, because of its propensity to develop faults. Car maintenance needs to be done at least once every two months, adding to the monthly budget cost for a vehicle. Fortunately, hybrids are rarely known to develop faults. This is not to say a few hiccups have not been experienced here and there, but continuous improvement of base designs have given rise to the quasi-perfect ones we have now.

·         Depreciation and Hybrids
All things being equal two cars are expected to depreciate the same way i.e. their savage value would be the same. But a hybrid is not the same as a standard vehicle, it achieves better gas mileage therefore the seller is expected to be paid a premium when the car is sold. For example, according to Kelly Blue Book, a 2013 Toyota Camry LE hybrid, as of June, 2015, would sell for $14,000 while a standard engine look alike would sell for $12,000. Money speaks!!!

As women we are mangers in our own rights, managers of the most important unit in society. There is no margin for error as our decisions can make or mar the home. Decisions such as which car type to buy is very important these days considering the fact that our monthly budgets for a vehicle is growing due to increasing cost of fuel and maintenance. The decision is on us to make the right economic choice.

5 of The Hottest 2016 Hybrid Sports Cars You Just Gotta See

As technology rapidly advances and gas prices continue to rise exponentially, it’s clear that hybrids are not going anywhere. Hybrids are becoming a viable option for millions of Americans. Hybrids provide many benefits including tax incentives, environmental benefits, and financial benefits. After reading this article, you may just want to head down to your local hybrid dealer and pick one up!
Note: Owning and driving a hybrid car is not only smart, it’s financially wise. The average amount of money saved when switching to a hybrid is nearly $500 annually on gas!!

Top 2016 Hybrid Sports Cars

Featuring a brand new plug-in model, this 2016 hybrid has an MSRP of $26,000, and is currently on sale. The car itself is estimated at 44 miles per gallon on the highway as well as a 40 miles per gallon driving through the city. Beyond its 5-star safety rating, this beautiful hybrid is sure to catch a look or two. Fashionable yet functional, we feel that this is going to be a perfect choice for thousands of Americans within the upcoming months.

Unlike other hybrids, Volkswagen wanted to keep a powerful engine. With a MSRP at $31,120, the 2016 Jetta hybrid packs a 150HP engine and has reached peak MPG ratings. On the highway, this hybrid is expected to receive 48 miles per gallon and received 5-star safety rating across the board.

Are you looking for a fashionable, yet fuel-efficient vehicle? If so, you need to check out the 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid. With an affordable MSRP at $25,185 and an average miles per gallon rate of 44 while driving through the city, you’re sure to fall in love with this hybrid. Receiving perfect scores against all safety tests, the 2016 Ford Fusion Hybrid is quickly receiving quite a bit of publicity. With the added features such as forward collision warnings and lane departure warnings, what’s not to love?

Although the 2016 Kia Optima Hybrid has not reached the market, its expected to make a big splash soon. With an estimated MSRP at $22,000, this unique hybrid adds a bit of class to the hybrid line. Tested against front, side, and rear crash tests, the Kia Optima Hybrid performed amazingly and can expect an average of 40 miles per gallon while driving on the highway.

Last, but certainly not the least, is the 2016 Toyota Camry Hybrid. With an affordable MSRP of $26,790, this unique hybrid is sure to take over a large portion of the U.S. Market. When driving this beautiful car, you can expect an average 43 miles per gallon in the city and 39 miles per gallon while cruising on the highway. Beyond its popular features, this Camry Hybrid received 5-star ratings across the board for all safety tests.

Note: hybrids are listed in no particular order

9 Tips to Save More On Fuel Costs

Listed below are some tips which will help you save more money by cutting down the fuel costs.  If the recent slump in the economy has hit you hard, these tips will definitely be very handy and provide some valuable cash, which can be diverted for other important expenses.

Use public transportation:  Where possible, opt for the public transportation system.  Some cities operate buses for the benefit of their residents.  Such shared modes of public transportation will be much more economical than driving your own car.

Car Pools:  Where buses are not available, start a car pool with family, friends and neighbors traveling in the same direction.  Encourage the kids to take the school bus or van, or start a children's car pool for school and other extra-curricular activities.

Multi-task:  Combine visits so that you don't have to make individual trips back and forth.  Whether it's for work or for household activities, try and group errands together to avoid multiple trips.  Additionally, consider options like video conferencing and web conferencing, instead of in-person meetings.

Work from home:  If on your own, or if your job permits, you can try to work from home at least once a week.

Use your old two-wheeler:  If you have your old scooter or motorcycle, you might find it convenient to use it two or three days a week.

Consider walking or cycling:  Before you take your car out think twice.  Is your destination close by? Avoid driving your car when you can walk instead.  Maybe you can even consider riding your bike.

Buying a new vehicle:  If you are considering buying a new vehicle, check for fuel efficiency.  Don't blindly fall in line with what the salesman says - ask your friends or colleagues if they own the same car.  Check around or search the internet and go in for one which will give you good mileage.  Ideally a fuel efficient car should give you mileage of 19 and higher to the gallon on city roads and 22 and higher on highways.  A bigger car may look great but it might be more expensive to operate.  Hybrid vehicles average 35 miles per gallon.

Used car:  If you absolutely must buy a car, consider buying a used car.  It will cost you a fraction of the price of a new car, and the insurance will be lower as well.  But, be sure you buy a car that is no more than 3 years old, otherwise you might end up with a faulty car or one that needs constant repairs.

Things to remember:

Regular maintenance and good driving habits can cut your fuel bills by up to 25%

Consider other fuel options like hybrids, electric vehicles, diesel or CNG

Opt for public transport and car pooling where possible.  Walk or use the bicycle where possible

Dodge Ram Refuses to be Left Behind

Dodge Ram Hybrid

Once Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy, the automaker was placed under the control of Fiat, the Italian automaker. Fiat promised to keep a number of Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge products alive and apparently is pleased with the Dodge Ram. To make matters even nicer, Chrysler is still working hard to roll out a hybrid version of the Dodge Ram.

The Dodge Ram Hybrid isn't the first gas-electric vehicle developed by Chrysler. Briefly in 2008, the Dodge Durango Hybrid and Chrysler Aspen Hybrid were sold, but those vehicles were pulled after only a few months when Chrysler decided to drop both model lines. That technology has been waiting in the wings ever since and is what will power the all new Ram.

Sharing Development Costs And Technology

Like General Motors, Chrysler's hybrid system is two-mode which allows the truck to run on electric power longer while still meeting important payload thresholds. This system was developed in cooperation with BMW, GM and Mercedes, allowing Chrysler to get into the hybrid game by sharing technology and development costs.

If GM is a good measuring stick for what Dodge will be offering, then a look at the Chevy Silverado Hybrid reveals that it can still carry three tons while getting 20 mpgScience Articles, a 50% boost over a comparable V8 model. Dodge plans to use its 5.7L HEMI V8 in its hybrid which means that customers can expect a truck that has the power to do the job while saving as much gasoline as possible.


Matthew C. Keegan is a freelance writer who resides in North Carolina. Matt is a contributing writer for Andy's Auto Sport an aftermarket supplier of quality parts including Dodge wheels and Dodge rims.

2015 Top 10 Hybrids

Wanna know the top 10 hybrids? I got it for you right here on Hybrid Honey.  I checked it out.  Here is what I found. U.S. News says these are 2015's top hybrids.  And, the top 2 are no surprise.  They're ol' faithfuls.  

1. 2015 Honda Accord Hybrid
Price: $28,516 - $33,960
Gas: 50 City and 45 Hwy

Price: $26,203 - 29,221
Gas: 43 City and 39 Hwy

Price $36,105 - $39, 744
Gas: 40 City and 39 Hwy

Price $26,310 - 31,791
Gas: 44 City and 41 Hwy

Price: $26,454 - $30,544
Gas: 44 City and 40 Hwy

Price: $24,287 - $27,184
Gas: 42 City and 37 Hwy

Price: $28,941 - $34,840
Gas: 126 City and 101 Hwy (It's not a typo)

Price: $23,880 - 29,386
Gas: 51 City and 48 Hwy

Price: $33,181 - $ 33, 181
Gas: 35 City and 40 Hwy

Price: $33,830 - $35,559
Gas: 40 City and 36 Hwy

It's great to see some good looking hybrid cars.  They're now available in assorted colors.  Go to your local dealer and take one for a spin.  I don't think you will be disappointed.  For more top hybrids check out U.S. News.

Definitions & Terms

Electric drive - Operating the vehicle on electric power alone. 

Electric vehicle (EV) - Also referred to as an electric drive vehicle, uses one or more electric motors or traction motors for propulsion.

Fuel cell - A cell producing an electric current directly from a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent.

Fuel-cell electric vehicles - uses a hydrogen-powered fuel cell instead of a gasoline engine to generate the electricity.

Green vehicle - Also referred to as an environmentally friendly vehicle, is a vehicle that produces small harmful impacts to the environment compared to standard gas or fuel dependent vehicles.

Hybrid - Any transportation that uses 2 or more forms of energy to move.  One form will be in the usual internal-combustion engine (uses gas) with a fuel tank.  The second form is one or more electric motors and a battery pack.

Hybrids by degree - Some hybrids have more power than others.  Automakers have created terms to describe the different levels of electric power.  The named degrees are mini hybrids, mild hybrids, strong hybrids and vehicles with the stop-start system.

Hybrid layouts - there are three designs of the hybrid technology, series hybrids, parallel hybrids and series-parallel hybrids. 

Motor-generator - The electric motor that provides supplemental acceleration when operating as a motor drawing electricity from the battery.

Parallel hybrid - The output of the engine and the electric motor are blended together upstream of the transmission.

Plug-in hybrid - Also known as PHEV's, Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle, has a significantly enlarged battery that permits the electric driving range to grow beyond the mile or two possible with regular hybrids.  It also provides a way to plug the battery in an electrical outlet for recharging while parked.  

Regenerative braking - An important function of the motor-generator is to generate electricity to recharge the battery as it absorbs a portion of the vehicles momentum when slowing down or coasting downhill.

Series hybrids - Electric motors alone turn the drive wheels.  Not being a 100% electric vehicle it has a dedicated engine that burns fuel.  The engine powers a generator to produce the electricity on board.

Series-parallel hybrid - Contains elements of both the series hybrid and the parallel hybrid.  The engine can power the car, but it can also be reassigned to battery charging duty while the electric motor drives the vehicle.  A computer monitors driving conditions and the state of the battery to decide which mode is efficient at any moment.

Start-stop -  The engines traditional starter motor is absent because the motor-generator takes on that function, also.  Hybrid-control software shuts the engine off while stopped at traffic lights and automatically restarts it again with the electric motor when the driver releases the brake pedal.

A Luxury Plug-In Hybrid Takes Us Into The Future Today

As promised, here's an update to the BMW i8 concept.  My first reaction to it was mouth dropping before I learned it was a hybrid.  The BMW i8 is a plug in, all wheel drive hybrid. From the looks of it, you think no way.  Or, at least I did. BMW has brought the i8 concept to the street.  Giving you the power of choice and control it offers 4 driving modes.  The BMW i 360 Electric is a collection of innovative products and services for a premium and worry free electric driving lifestyle.                                            
The BMW i 360 Electric is a collection of innovative products and services for a premium and worry free electric driving lifestyle.It boasts of having no more blind spots, 357 HP and a twin power turbo engine with the efficiency of an all electric motor.  All of this in a plug in a luxury hybrid.  And, more such as standard night vision.  It comes equipped with a sound system that would make anyone envious.  The BMW i8 is a blend of the BMW luxury we're used to and hybrid innovation.

BMW's i8 Vision

May 5, 2012

Did you know that BMW has a hybrid concept?
It's the BMW Vision.  It's futuristic.  It's a beauty.  Look at it.  It will blow your mind.
I'm already in love with the BMW Vision.  Now there is a plug-in hybrid version. I'll keep you posted as I find out more.

The Luxury Hybrid is available.  I've seen three so far.  Read more here.

Electric Car Charging Station Locations Update

May 9, 2012

Electric Car Charging Station Locations

www.afdc.energy.gov/locator/stations - alternative fuels government website

So Folks, we've got another charging station in our midst. How about that? Its getting exciting to know there are more places to charge up. The newest branch of the Irving Library in Irving, Texas on Rochelle and Esters. Take a look at the rapid charger and the more casual charger for those who spend a few hours in the library.  Okay people, start looking at electric vehicles. They are more common than you think. You'll drive by the gas station and laugh. 

While you're there make sure to stop in.  As you walk in you will see an information panel that shows their solar power at work.  Great kid & teen sections too.

Electric Car Charging Station Locator websites

www.afdc.energy.gov/locator/stations - an alternative fuels government website

The charging station at Highway 360 & Ave J in front of Cracker Barrel is now up and running.  Its been powered up for a week now. 

Dallas is slated to have 35 charging stations by the end of this year, 2012.

Light showing a tow truck has been summoned in case you have problems. 

Electric is currently managing it.  Testing for optimum output daily.  There are two units in place.  One is a quick charger (15 minutes) the other is more casual (5-6 hours) for the person who is not in a hurry.  You may want to charge while eating at Cracker Barrel.  I love their Chicken n Dumplings.

The 2nd station is located at Walgreen's on Randal Mill & Collins across from The Cowboys Stadium.

This is a website I came across just for you electric vehicles.


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