In the past few years, development, production, and demand for hybrid cars has increased at an enormous rate. While the cars currently on the market may already seem like technological masterpieces, the car companies are continuing to develop and improve new vehicles with features that improve fuel efficiency, performance and appearance. These future hybrid cars
utilize the best in our available technology to create cars that will appeal to a vast array of people. While many car manufacturers are designing future hybrid cars to be high performance, sporty vehicles, the greatest increase in purchasing and production of hybrid cars has been in sedans, coupes, and SUVs, particularly in hybrid versions of cars that already exist. So, while it’s possible that cars will continue to bear a distinctive, futuristic, “hybrid” look, the most likely scenario is that future hybrid cars will look pretty much the same as non-hybrid cars.
Some of the new types of cars being developed by the manufacturers already get upwards of 60 mpg. By combining lightweight materials with better batteries and new methods of transferring power, these cars take the existing technology of hybrid cars and improve them. At the same time, work is being done to take larger, more practical cars and adapt them to hybrids, thus improving the mileage of what would otherwise be a gas guzzler to a more reasonable 20-30 miles per gallon.
Projections state that by the year 2008, 350,000 Americans will buy hybrid cars, and increase from a 1% share of the market in 2005 to about 2%. This may not seem like very many cars, but the demographic is changing. As future hybrid cars improve in performance, practicality, and appearance, they are being purchased by soccer moms and executives, rather than just fringe environmentalists. However, since they are still considerably pricier than their non-hybrid counterparts, they probably will not assume a much larger market share.
Some day that future hybrid cars will become obsolete as the economy moves away from gasoline and into alternative energy sources like hydrogen or ethanol. As of now, this doesn’t seem to be the case. While many car manufacturers are increasing their production and selection of hybrid cars, few if any of them are working on alternative fuel sources. What’s more, even if the economy did a sudden shift, hybrid cars could still be part of the process. Instead of mixing gas and electricity, future hybrid cars could just as easily combine battery power with another fuel, such as ethanol or hydrogen.