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How Hybrid Cars Work - Limited Number of Tax Credits - What to Look For When Buying a Hybrid-Electric Vehicle - Honda Insight and Toyota Prius

April 1st 2006

How Hybrid Cars Work - Limited Number of Tax Credits - What to Look For When Buying a Hybrid-Electric Vehicle

Honda Insight

Why are hybrid cars better than traditional all-gasoline powered cars?  Unlike the all-gasoline powered cars, hybrids use both electric batteries and gasoline.  Unlike electric cars, hybrids do not need to be plugged-in at night, and you fill up with gasoline at the filling station just as you do now.

Hybrids have both a small gas motor and an electric motor.  The electric motor is powered by a set of batteries that are charged when the car is decelerating and sometimes while stopped.  Essentially, the hybrid is an electric car with a built-in recharger for longer range.

The big advantage is gas mileage.  If gas prices continue to rise, hybrid owners will save substantially more money at the pump than all-gasoline powered vehicles. 


Not all hybrids are the same.  For instance, the Honda Insight uses a larger gasoline engine that connects directly to the drive train.  Other hybrids may have the electric motor attached to the drive train, but Honda decided to lighten the vehicle by making the generator and electric motor smaller.

Other hybrids may have a smaller gas motor that runs at one speed only.  The electric motors will supply the bulk of the power while the gas motors just supplement the power.  The Insight works the opposite, and since the gasoline motor works at varying speeds, it may be less fuel efficient.

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 created new tax credits for purchasers of hybrid vehicles.  The Feds have allocated each qualifying manufacturer a set number of tax credits.  In other words, after the automaker sells 60,000 qualifying vehicles, there will be no more tax credits available for that manufacturer’s cars.


Although the tax credits will be offered through 2010, the manufacturers will likely exhaust their share of credits well before that year.  In fact, we have heard that Toyota will likely exhaust their allotted vehicle tax credits before the end of 2006. 

With gas prices on the rise and a limited quantity of tax credits, this may be the “year of the hybrid”. 

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By Dan Wilson
Best Syndication

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Keywords and misspellings: hibrid car electric pryus acord

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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:51 PM