The emergence of hybrids has a great impact in the automobile industry and continues to cause a technological revolution. In many parts of the world, people are transiting from the traditional to Hybrids power vehicles. A research analysis of the global auto giants like Ford, GM, Honda, Mercedes and Toyota showed that the companies have international markets. These companies sell hybrid cars in markets such as North America, Africa, Japan, Australia, Europe and Rest of World. The research further analyzed the sales in over 24 independent nations in North America, UK and Canada. The eight leading countries in Europe were “France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom (Anderson & Anderson 2004).” Hybrid vehicles are thus sold globally. They are sold regionally in many countries around the world.
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The research brought to light the regional opportunities for hybrid cars. The vehicles have a greater market in North America because it is more open. Competition is not as fierce in North America compared to other parts of the world making it an easy target. In 2005, General Motors, Chrysler LLC, and BMW jointly began working on an “advanced hybrid systems 2.” The three companies hoped to sell the vehicle to all parts of the world. The vehicle, which uses three gear sets, won "Technology of the Year" in 2007. Toyota took the lead in building hybrid vehicles and its global sale hit the three million mark in 2007 (Fuhs, 2008). After launching its first hybrid bus in Japan, Toyota took the leading role in selling this vehicle globally. In less than ten years, Toyota had sold more than one million vehicles throughout the world. Currently the company has over fifteen models of hybrid vehicles, which it sells in over 80 countries. The company is planning to launch ten new hybrid vehicles by 2012.
There are many societal implications that have come up with the emergence of hybrid vehicles. There are social, environmental and economic impacts that are associated to these cars. Drivers who are conscious of environmental implications are likely to switch to hybrid vehicles. The research done by “J.D. Power and Associates” estimated that by the year 2015, up to 7% of Americans would own hybrid vehicles. This will cause an increase in the number of cars owned by Americans by over 2%. Regardless of the increase in the number of vehicle, there will be a significant reduction in fuel consumption. This results in an overall environmental benefit.
Hybrid vehicles are nevertheless more expensive compared to other automobiles. A “conventional fuel Toyota Camry” costs $23,390 while a “Camry hybrid” $costs 27,965. This means that consumers will be paying more in exchange for a cleaner environment. Since it is projected that the demand of hybrid vehicle will increase with time, the vehicles will be easier to build. This will probably cause a reduction in their prices. The reduction might not be dramatic; however, it is a sign that the cost of hybrid vehicles cannot be higher
The hybrid vehicle will ensure lower emissions thus cleaner environment. They are a great improvement compared to cars powered by gasoline. The unhealthy tail pipe emissions are reduced by 90%. The evaporative emissions are reduced to negligible levels. Compared with gasoline vehicle, hybrid vehicles pollute the environment in the same way however, since hybrid vehicles consume less fuel, they pollute the environment less.
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