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Looking Forwards to the Future of Driving

Keep moving forward” was the late Walt Disney’s advice to us all. The car industry has been taking that seriously lately. Not a day passes without another news article about cars that drive themselves or hydrogen fueled vehicles. It can get confusing, particularly if you are considering buying a new car. Buying a new car is always a big commitment, whether pre-owned or fresh out of the factory. It is important to understand the future. If you know where we are going, you will never make the mistake of falling behind the curve.

Petrol and Diesel

Petrol head is beginning to become an outdated phrase. Even car enthusiasts are getting used to the idea that energy efficient vehicles are a necessity in today’s society. You may hear diesel fueled automobiles being openly scoffed in polite conversation. The public want car companies to reach the next mile on the road to success. They are looking towards Hybrids. We will discuss these in a moment. Do not let the in your face advertisements fool you. The main portion of the market is cars running on diesel and petrol. Most of these are not the gas-guzzling monsters they are made out to be and can be purchased from websites like harratts.co.uk. Are you worried about falling behind the trend?  Only three percent of cars on the road today are classed as hybrids.

Hybrids

In the simplest term, a hybrid car is a vehicle that uses two or more sources to power the machine. This can still include petrol fuel. Hybrids get their reputation for being green friendly vehicles because they use less fuel and often do more miles to the gallon. Hybrids originated from Henry Ford’s investigation into electric powered cars in the early 19th century. A patent for this type of vehicle was not filed until the 60’s. Hybrids are the bouncing baby brother of the car market with limited road use today. However, analysts are predicting that we could see a huge boost in numbers in just ten years. One of the cheapest hybrids is the Toyota Yaris T3, which can be bought for just under £15,000. A more popular and expensive choice is the Toyota Prius.

Other fuel sources

There are cars powered completely by electric motors. These are not the laughing stock they used to be but still have several issues. They take a lifetime to charge. Most electric cars take approximately two to three hours to reach maximum capacity. That is a long time when you are sitting in a motorway restaurant. Another issue is that there are very few purely electric powered cars. Most have a petrol engine for back-up. Finally, the best electric cars cost roughly the same amount as far more attractive competitors like the Nissan GTR or even a Ferrari.

Self Driving Cars

No longer held in science fiction these cars are already being tested by top engineers across the world. Remember those huge laptops and mobile phones that were ridiculously expensive and considered dangerous to use? Self-driving vehicles are at roughly the same point in the design process. Google and Audi have been testing driving their version of these cars, and so far they have crashed eleven times. We are still some way off from the cars showcased in the film “I Robot.”

The race is on. There will certainly be more exciting developments in the industry within the next few years. Personally, I am still waiting for the hover cars to arrive,  promised in Back to the Future for 2015.