The Advancing Reality of Hybrid Cars and American Automakers

It’s been ten years since Toyota introduced their first hybrid car, the Prius, to the market for energy and pollution conscious consumers. The model has seen significant success and maintains a steady waiting list for this interested in owning one. The market is booming and yet where is the competition? Honda hopped on with hybrid models of their popular Civic and Accord models, and Nissan is looking to edge their way in as their market share grows world-wide, but the original developers of the automobile, the American Auto Manufacturers, with the exception of a product line equivalent to sticking their toe in the water, have remained rather silent on the issue.

It looks like 2007 will be a step in the right direction though as 10 new hybrid models will release this year alone, six of those from Detroit’s big three automakers. Ford, Mercury, and Saturn each have their single entry in the field. As it stands though the full support and development budgets that the technology really needs to take off have yet to appear.

So, as GM, Ford, and Daimler Chrysler rev up their sales and attempt to take on a Japanese market with a decade’s head start, what can we look forward to in our hybrid vehicles?

The answer is exciting when you stop to think about the amount of development money and time that could really go into the market if these companies realize that there’s money to be made. When the consumers react and a dozen or more different brands hit the market in competition, the need to step up and offer bigger, better models to stay ahead of the curve will breed the kind of technology race that the auto industry hasn’t seen since the 1970s.

Recent reports released by the UN and the global scientific community state that with CO2 output as it currently stands, worldwide temperatures will rise by nearly 6 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. There are still hold outs on the consensus that technologies such as the automobile are causing harm to our planet, but as more and more come to the realization that this is a reality, the corporations will react accordingly. And if the government takes the steps to curb emissions and raise CAFE standards, it’s entirely likely that the industry might start to shift much of their focus to the hybrid car market in an attempt to curb the inevitable downturn in their profits.

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