Monday, August 5, 2013

The Pros and Cons of Hybrid and Electric Cars

Although initial sales may have been off to a slow start, demand for hybrids is now on the rise. Despite hard times overall for the automotive industry, new hybrid registrations climbed 34% in the United States between 2010 and 2012. The jump in Australia is even more noticeable, with hybrid sales jumping by 160% in 2012 alone. Despite weak sales over the past ten years, consumers seem to be ready and willing to make the leap to more environmentally friendly options. It seems that a number of factors could be contributing to this new interest in hybrids, including rising fuel prices and improved technology. If you're on the fence about making this transition into driving an eco-car, you'll want to look more closely at the advantages and disadvantages of going electric. 
Pros of Driving a Hybrid 
Naturally, one of the major benefits of purchasing and driving a hybrid car is that you will have access to a cleaner, more efficient vehicle. Hybrids offer more miles to the gallon, while emitting less carbon dioxide. These green-friendly cars help drivers conserve energy, despite having all the power of more traditional petrol engines. Hybrid technology has come a long way over the past few years. If you take a look at a motoring car comparison tool today, you'll see that hybrid and fully electric cars provide many of the same amenities and levels of performance as more traditional vehicles. They are better equipped to handle a wider driving range thanks to features such as regenerative braking, which helps recharge the battery each time the driver brakes. 
Further incentives to driving a hybrid car include potential tax benefits, government rebates, or employer perks. For instance, some businesses give free parking spaces to employees who drive environmentally-friendly cars, and insurance rates may be lowered as well. Finally, as the demand for cleaner, greener cars continues to grow, the resale values for these vehicles are high. If you compare depreciation rates of electric or hybrid cars to more traditional cars, you'll see that today's green models are coming out ahead. 
Cons of Driving a Hybrid 
Despite these numerous incentives, hybrid cars may not be right for everyone. If you're looking for raw power behind the wheel, a hybrid may not compare to a sportier conventional car. Although they're swiftly catching up in terms of performance, most hybrids have lower power outputs than sports cars. They're built to boost economy rather than speed, and as such tend to have smaller engines and a lighter weight. This is more in line with what you would expect in a Ford Fiesta review rather than a Lamborghini. 
At the same time, the upfront costs for a hybrid will be higher. Even with rebates and tax breaks, a hybrid car will still cost more than that conventional Ford Fiesta. Within the same brand and model, you could expect to pay as much as $10,000 more for the hybrid. Yet if you plan on driving the car for a long term period, you can expect to get this money back in the savings on fuel. Those looking for a short term car may find that the benefits do not balance out the cost.
Generally, hybrids stand out for their safety, reliability, and low running costs. They can be a great choice as a commuter or family car. However, those in the market for a sportier car or something to drive for a year may wish to look at other options.  
Compliments of Guest Blogger, Hannah.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day!

Today is Earth Day! Over one billion people in 192 countries are participating!  How are YOU Going Green?
 Upload your pictures here

Guest Author Alia: A future investment: Solar panel to shoot up your House

Solar panels are actually assemblies of photovoltaic cells to generate electric supply in residential and commercial applications. Each panel is rated according to its DC output. A solar panel is a long-term future investment by the smart owners to their houses. Solar panel is not only a big investment but also a valuable investment for the future. This solar panel also helps to improve the greeneries of the house. Solar panels are eco-friendly and do not emit green-house gases. Solar panels are more effective in areas of direct sunlight.
Beneficial areas for using solar panels
Solar panels are used for the production of electricity. Solar panels help to reduce the electricity bills. During the presence of direct sunlight Solar panel provide electricity for the household utility. Solar panels are renewable resources till the presence of direct sunlight. Solar panels reduce carbon footprint. Solar panel does not emit any type of carbon footprint or gases as generator emits. Thus they are ecofriendly and silent. There are no such moving parts in the solar panel that may cause noise and are also easy for the maintenance. It greatly reduces the regular electric bills which is a center of attraction for all the members.
Efficiency of the solar panels
Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic cells. Efficiency of solar panel must be greater than the efficiency of individual solar cells. Solar panels are made out of silicon which makes it efficient. Efficiency of solar panels can be increased with the help of mono-crystalline or multi-crystalline. Both mono-crystalline and multi-crystalline produces solar cells but mono-crystalline makes more efficient solar panel compared to multi-crystalline as mono-crystalline consist of only one type of silicon which is completely pure and more efficient. Another point that affects the efficiency of the solar panel is anti-reflection coatings.
Advantages of solar panels
Solar panels are renewable, clean and are a natural resource. It is ecofriendly and helps grow greeneries. It does not harm nature in any way. It also helps in reducing electricity bill. This way it helps to save money and is also economically beneficial. Solar energy is naturally made from the direct sunrays so it needs no extra gases or anything. Using solar panels helps individual saving ton money. This is a great advantage for the people. It is eco-friendly and help protecting the surrounding area from global-warming. Investing money in solar panel can also be called as a future investment. As in future solar panel helps to supply electricity to the nearby houses. It does not emit any carbon components so no harm to the environment. It also helps in saving tax.
Reasons for solar panel to be a good investment
Solar panel is a good investment for the house as it reduces electricity bill permanently. So it is really a good investment. Solar panels of present generation are not very expensive. Solar panels are now designed in such a way that it becomes less costly than earlier time. Installation of solar panel will not only be economically beneficial but also help in conserving natural energy. Saving electricity bill on a regular basis is actually a bonus for long time for a person. By using solar panels emission of harmful gases are reduced and at the same time environment is becoming pollution free.
Designs of solar panels
Cost of solar panels fall at a very fast rate. Earlier solar panels use to cost much more than what it cost now. Solar panels got many new designs for mounting solar panels on the rooftop at a low price. The new designs of solar panels greatly reduce and eliminate many tools and hardware of the system. So it is easier for installation now. Mounting solar panels on the roof top needs anchoring long metal racks to roof for creating a fine framework which will help in making panel angled towards the sun and remain together. Racks must be electrically ground. These new designing og solar panels makes it easier and cheaper to install.
Solar panels are very useful in every respect. One must try to install solar panel as it is very easy to install and it leads to long-term saving. Solar panels not only help in saving money but also help in saving the environment. It does not have much maintenance cost and at the same time it have life-long warranty. It gets all its energy from the direct sunlight. It is a renewable resource. So after purchasing there is no further monetary investment for the future. It is really a good and economically beneficial investment for the future for every person.
About The Author: Alia is a writer/blogger. She loves writing, travelling and reading books. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fireflies helping us go green!

The nighttime twinkling of fireflies has inspired scientists to modify an LED so it is more than one and a half times as efficient as the original. Researchers from Belgium, France, and Canada studied the internal structure of firefly lanterns, the organs on the bioluminescent insects’ abdomens that flash to attract mates. The scientists identified an unexpected pattern of jagged scales that enhanced the lanterns’ glow, and applied that knowledge to LED design to create an LED overlayer that mimicked the natural structure, which increased LED light extraction by up to 55 percent. For more information, click here.