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Car Advisor Tamotsu Todoroki

Hi, this is Tamotsu Todoroki. I am a car advisor of
I write an online column every week to take care of your vehicle. My column is all about something useful and practical for your vehicle. Please have a look once to keep your car in good condition.


Fuel Efficient Cars of 2011 - Vol.90

For many years the automotive world has been trying to come up with the best solution for the fuel efficiency problem. Fuel prices have been going through the roof all over the world. Oil and gas being limited resources, have also had an impact on the mindset of the automotive world as they do not want these resources to get depleted.
The tactic used by automobile manufacturers in the 1980s and 1990s was to reduce the engine size and capacity so that the cars do not consume a lot of fuel. The trend changed in the recent years and focus shifted towards electric power.

Hybrid engines were introduced and became increasingly popular. Despite the fact that the earlier hybrids were highly criticized because of their focus on efficiency rather than looks, the hybrid vehicles started gaining mass popularity. Cars like the Toyota Prius were the center of attention and were even made fun of by critics because of their exterior looks. However, the efficiency of these engines proved to be quite impressive and normal models started coming out in hybrid engine versions as well. Like the Honda Civic Hybrid there were many other cars that came out with hybrid engines and the criticism on the looks of hybrid cars was seen to steadily subside and make way for better acceptability in the market.

Apart from the Prius and Civic, there were even some SUVs which were seen to be highly efficient on hybrid engines and were considered to be good options to go for in 2010-2011. The BMW X6 is an SUV which is the fastest hybrid SUV in the world and very efficient in terms of fuel economy. However, due to some factors that negatively impacted the car, the announcement has been made of its discontinuation.

Probably the most fuel efficient cars of 2011 were hybrids but this year has seen some new technologies being developed which might be the best futuristic approach towards fuel efficiency. One of the technologies to come out in 2010 but gained even more popularity this year was the all-electric Nissan Leaf.

Unlike hybrids, this car runs only on an electric motor and batteries. There are zero emissions and zero expense on fuel. This technology is still relatively new but is gaining a lot of attention in consumer markets. The only disadvantage that has been associated with this car is that it has limited travel range and Nissan has even promised to improve this in later model years as well.

The American automobile manufacturer, Ford has come in with its own version of fuel efficient technology. They call it EcoBoost technology which even won them the Truck of the Year award for 2011 for their F-150. This is a smaller turbocharged engine which gives a much better performance than regular engines which are larger and less fuel efficient. Somehow the American markets are finding it difficult to let go of the conventional engine types and switch to the new technology.

Japanese automakers however, are still going strong. The hybrid cars from Toyota, Honda and Nissan have set new standards in fuel efficiency, not to mention the breakthrough that Nissan has provided with its all-electric car. The most fuel efficient cars to have come out in 2011 have been from Japanese origins and these cars have a promising aura about them. Automobile manufacturers from other parts of the world are still pondering over new options and technologies which will help them find a way in between the conventional technology and the new one and are trying to formulate the best solution.