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Bobby Lubbers
Bobby Lubbers is owner of Bobby Lubbers Auto Group, a Chevrolet, Pontiac, Dodge, Chrysler, and Jeep dealership in Harper, KS. A graduate of Wichita State University, he has been in and around the automotive industry for more than 25 years, and has been nationally recognized by General Motors for exceptional sales and customer satisfaction. You may contact Bobby by phone at (316) 721-1545, or by email at bobby@bobbylubbers.com
Cars, Trucks, Vans & Automotive
2003-07-01 13:46:00
What about hybrid cars?
ANSWER: Hybrid Vehicles are a new technology being utilized by manufacturers in an effort to improve fuel economy and emissions on automobiles. Current models now utilize combinations of gasoline and electricity to power the vehicle. There are models under development which hope to use alternative forms of fuel such as hydrogen, but patent laws and legal battles are slowing the introduction of this new technology.    My overall opinion of these vehicles is mixed. While I applaud automobile manufacturers for pursuing new and alternative fuel systems, I worry about the durability and reliability of vehicles utilizing electricity to power the engines. For a number of years now, electric automobiles have been tested and sold in states such as California with mixed results. Problems such as frequent breakdowns, lack of power, and short travel distances have plagued these vehicles. Now, with a combination of gasoline and electricity, we should see better results, but service concerns and parts availability should be addressed.    As I understand it, these hybrid vehicles pack enough voltage to knock you out of your socks if you are not careful when it comes to the engine. Make sure that if you buy one of these vehicles you are aware of all of the electrical components in the engine compartment so as to avoid any new hairstyles should you inadvertently work on the wrong pieces of the engine. But this brings up a new issue, where will you have the vehicle worked on? Obviously you will go back to the dealer and have this worked on, and this would be my recommendation regardless, but you should take this into consideration if you will be traveling extensively. Obviously, Joe Shadetree will not have the technology to work on these vehicles so you must ensure the availability of your respective manufacturers dealers in servicing your vehicle.    I do not believe that these vehicles or this technology are in any way a passing fad. Currently, GM and Chrysler are working on various hybrid models, and I understand Ford has some in the works also. I would suggest that you research this to the best of your ability and make an informed decision based on availability of both parts and service. New technology is always great to see and experience, but I think everyone would agree that sometimes it can be a bear being the guinea pig when it comes to new gadgets. I look forward to seeing how all of this new technology works out, it certainly is an interesting time to be buying new vehicles.
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