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Toyota

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If you have yet to make the move of bringing company cars into your business, then, perhaps, this guide is for you. There are plenty of advantages of starting up a fleet of vehicles that can be worth investigating – so we thought we would go through them one by one. It doesn’t matter whether you are a big company looking to build a fleet, or a small business wanting to provide select workers with a vehicle. All businesses could benefit – and here’s why.

Here’s the thing about employees: they like to feel valued. To put it simple, people like getting company cars. It makes them feel like they are appreciated and boosts their morale, in more ways than one. For example, it gives them the opportunity to own a vehicle that they otherwise could not afford. It also gives their self-worth a boost in the right direction. Also, it can help you reduce your tax bill. If you have employees paying into a car scheme, then it comes out of their wages before any deductions are made. That means fewer costs for you.

Easy to start your own fleet

It’s never been simpler to start forming your own fleet of cars for your company. There are two ways you can begin buying on company cars, and both tend to give you a better deal than you would get by purchasing privately. Firstly you could choose a manufacturer or and set up some deal for your cars. Secondly, you could find a dealer. Again, you might find better prices here, either as a one-off purchase, lease or on a finance option. Take a look at http://listers.co.uk/Leasing/Offers/Toyota for a good example. You’ll see that there are plenty of choices for businesses – and those options should get cheaper the more cars you buy.

Advertising, for free

If you are going to buy in company cars for your staff anyway, then you could also think about using them for publicity – at no extra cost to yourself. A little brand recognition in your local area is going to be good for your business, and it will help to build up your identity. You could have a straight up logo painted onto all of your cars or think about doing something a little wackier. Take drinks company Innocent, for example. They are one of many businesses that have company vehicles astroturfed to show off their natural credentials.

Show off your commitment to the environment

You don’t have to cover your cars with plastic grass to show you are an eco-conscious company, however. In fact, you could just buy or loan in a fleet of hybrid or electric cars and make a big noise about it in the local press. This will raise the bar in boosting the public perception of you business – not to mention being cheaper to run thanks to fewer fuel costs. Don’t forget that many people are beginning to be a lot more choosy about the companies that they buy from these days. Those green values could well help you prise business away from the competition – and keep it.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons why company cars could be right for your business – are you tempted? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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It’s no secret that electric and hybrid engines are becoming more and more popular. Visit any major city in the US or the UK and you’ll see hybrid motors dominating the roads. The biggest change is coming in our taxi services. You may have noticed the sheer number of cabs that are now powered by hybrid engines. This is all down to a big shift in green thinking. As a driver, you may have found yourself wondering whether a hybrid car would work for you. The simple answer is: yes, almost certainly.

Hybrid motoring is no longer a distant dream. It is not an anomaly or a future concept. It is the necessary reality. They are the future of driving. Not only that, but hybrid cars are now some of the best cars on the road. Quite simply, in ten years, all new cars will be hybrid designs.

new toyota prius This Is Why Your Next Car Should Be Electric

photo credit

It is now 14 years since Toyota released its iconic Prius worldwide. This was a huge step forward for green technology and hybrid engines. However, at first, it was almost a novelty. It was a nice idea, but it wasn’t particularly practical for most drivers. Some began using it for city driving and short journeys. However, they weren’t much good on motorways or long drives. Understandably, it has taken a while to take off.

Nearly 15 years on, the world of hybrids looks very different. Every car manufacturer on the planet has a hybrid car on the road or in production. There are three things pushing this change. The first is public awareness and demand. Environmental awareness is hitting an all time high in our general public. More than ever, we are conscious of the fuel we are burning and the resources we are draining. This is expressed in our driving choices. More people want a greener option.

Secondly, the change is coming from governments. Most world leaders offer tax incentives and insurance breaks to greener drivers. This is to ensure that countries hit their fuel consumption targets set by global treaties. This governmental shift is changing the nature of driving. Finally, the car manufacturers themselves are forcing this change. As a result of the first two points, car manufacturers are racing to find the best hybrid engine. We are leaving petrol engines behind, it’s just a matter of time.

With that in mind, it is essential that you start to consider a hybrid future. If you’re thinking about purchasing a new car, now is the time to consider hybrids. If you’re browsing cardealwarehouse.co.uk every day, hunt out the hybrids. This shift to electric motoring is an unstoppable, fundamental shift in driving. Your next car should reflect that. Even if you ignore that fact, there are plenty of immediate benefits to driving a hybrid.

Hybrid cars are actually much simpler machines. The technology sounds futuristic and complicated. In actual fact, the mechanics of a hybrid are far more simple than that of a traditional car. We’ve heard talk of people avoiding hybrids because of their complexity. There are suggestions that they are wildly different to traditional cars. Well, let’s put an end to that myth once and for all.

The first thing to understand is that a hybrid won’t change your driving in any way. You’ll drive the car exactly as you would an ordinary vehicle. The system works in a slightly different way, sure, but the fundamentals of driving don’t change a single bit. You still start the car, change gears and use the accelerator.

Secondly, you just need to understand how the hybrid system works. Sometimes that’s all it takes to settle any worries, and it’s a very simple system. Hybrid cars have two engines. One is an electric motor, the other is a traditional combustion engine. The combustion engine is much smaller than in traditional cars. Its purpose is to support the electric motor. Sometimes the traditional engine will charge the electric motor. In other cases, the traditional engine will take over completely and power the car. This will happen when you overtake or need some additional accelerating power.

As a driver, you needn’t worry about any of this. The car itself makes these decisions for you. It is designed to optimise the two engines and adapt to get the very best mileage. Hybrid cars also use regenerative braking to gather kinetic energy from the brakes. Clever, right?

This engine combination makes hybrid cars incredibly quiet. When starting, they only use the electric motor. This makes for an almost silent start. You’ll never experience vibrations while standing either. Hybrid cars are a much calmer, more relaxed way to drive.

Of course, one of the biggest benefits to driving a hybrid car is the monetary savings. Most hybrid owners will cut their fuel expenditure by half. They save you a fortune when fueling up and you’ll visit the pumps less often. Not only that but hybrid cars incur much lower taxes and running costs. Governmental incentives ensure that hybrid drivers pay low road tax. This makes them a great option for business too. A lot of business are now turning to hybrid fleets for their company cars.

They are reliable too. The simple machinery means that they actually last much longer than traditional engines. Warranties of up to eight years aren’t uncommon in the world of hybrids. You won’t find that with a traditional car. Many drivers have clocked up to 400,000 miles without a single problem.

One of the biggest complaints you hear when it comes to hybrids is the lack of speed and power. Quite simply, this is a myth. This certainly may have been true when the Prius was first launched. But, let’s look at the facts. The fastest lap time at the infamous Nurburgring was set by the Porsche 918 Spyder. A hybrid car. The hybrid Toyota TS030 recently came second in the grueling Le Mans 24 hours race. This is proof that hybrids are not the slow coaches they once were.

Finally, a hybrid car really does make a difference. It can be difficult to see how we can help the environment when we have such a small impact. However, you need only look at the big picture. Toyota estimates that hybrid cars have saved 34 million tons of carbon dioxide and 12 billion gallons of fuel.

We are just at the start of this hybrid revolution. Now is the time to start thinking about a hybrid as your next vehicle. If you don’t, you could be left behind.

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Hybrid cars dominate our news headlines and our roads these days. There is barely a car manufacturer left who doesn’t make one. That’s because they are great for our environment and great on fuel economy. They cut our reliance on fossil fuels which is damaging to the planet. Not only that but they save us a fortune at the gas pumps. Nowadays, they perform nearly as well as traditional engines too.

If you’re not fully aware of how hybrid engines work, here’s a quick breakdown. They have a an electric motor that will typically power the car. They then also have a traditional combustion engine that is used to keep the electric battery charged. You’ll still top up with petrol, but only to keep the electric motor running. When at home, most hybrids can be plugged into a charging system or your mains electricity. This will restore their charge to full.

A lot of people are considering trading in their old fuel munching car for a hybrid. With good reason. They are great little cars now. They are versatile and you no longer have to compromise on looks and power. There are plenty of options out there. But, before you put your hard earned money on the line, let’s look at some pros and cons. No purchase should be rushed into. Do you research and figure out if a hybrid works for your lifestyle.

Pros

Clean Energy

Buying a hybrid car is a step in the right direction towards saving the planet. The burning of fossil fuels has had a devastating effect on our environment. It has caused unprecedented warming of the earth and rising sea levels. We are still only beginning to understand the effects this will have in the long term. Our energy consumption is changing. Electric cars are just the start and buying one is taking a step into a sensible future. Governments are slowly enforcing a reduction of fossil fuel reliance. This has started with businesses but will affect your everyday life sooner than you think. Electric and hybrid cars are the future. Making the change to a hybrid vehicle helps to future proof your life.

Better milage

Hybrid cars make considerably better milage than conventional cars. This is especially true in a city environment. They are perfect for the stop-start driving in town centres. That’s why you’ll see so many Toyota Priuses and Honda Insights around town. Many will do up to 60mpg in the city. Some conventional cars struggle to reach 20mpg around town. You will spend much less time filling up at the pumps, saving you a small fortune.

Incentives

Incentives vary from state to state and country to country. However, most local authorities and governments now offer tax breaks to low emitting car users. If you buy a hybrid car, you are subject to much lower road tax than conventional users. In the UK a hybrid car incurs zero road tax. They can also use London’s expensive congestion charge zone for free. More and more businesses are also investing in hybrids for their company cars as it incurs lower charges.

They are lighter and quieter

Hybrid cars have less dense mechanics and machinery. As a result they are typically much lighter than their traditional counterparts. This also contributes to great mileage. The drive is almost silent in a hybrid car. Gone are the wheezing coughs and rattles of a combustion engine. Instead, you get a gentle purr of an electric motor.

Regenerative braking

Hybrid cars are efficient and make use of many aspects of the car to generate power. Regenerative braking is one of the smartest of these technologies. Braking creates intense friction and heat which can be translated into power. This is diverted back to the motor to keep it running.

Higher resale value

Due to the huge demand of hybrid cars, their resale value is much higher than traditional cars. Head to your local Pentagon Group dealer and see for yourself. This is also helped by the fact that they haven’t been on the market long. The first Prius was introduced in 1997, so there aren’t a great deal of used hybrids available. Although they cost more upfront, they make it back on resale.

toyota yaris Hybrid Cars: The Definitive Pros and Cons List

Thanks to Toyota Motor Europe for the image

Cons

Less power

Although they are catching up, hybrids still fall short of the traditional gas engine in terms of power. They are not built for speed, they are built for economy and good mileage. You will sacrifice the top speeds and the acceleration power. That is not to say they are not nippy and speedy around town. But, if you want to open her up on the open highway, you don’t want a hybrid.

Poor handling

That is not to say that they handle badly. They are just not quite as responsive as a conventional car. This is because the electric engine is housed at the rear of the car. For weight and safety reasons, this is the best place for it. Most cars however are front wheel drive – well away from the electric engine. This causes a higher centre of gravity making it slightly more difficult to handle.

The loss of weight is also a factor here. Although it makes for great milage, the lower weight makes it a little more difficult to handle. Again, however, they are not designed for taking racing corners. They don’t need super responsive steering. The cars are purpose built for fuel economy.

Expensive

There’s no getting around it, they are expensive to buy. Sticker price is often $5000-$10,000 more than their equivalent conventional car. Although most of the car is cheaper to produce, the lithium ion battery costs a fortune to develop. That is reflected in the price. Even the used cars still fetch a premium. Although they save money on fuel, this doesn’t help the first time buyer in stumping up the cash.

Higher maintenance costs

This is a risk you have to analyse when looking at a hybrid. They are generally more reliable than a conventional car. There are less parts to go wrong, for example. It isn’t so reliant on moving mechanics, oil and transmission. However, if there is a problem, there are less people qualified to deal with it. With such a new technology, the lithium ion battery components are expensive. So is the labour that comes with it.

In the end, it comes down to whether or not a hybrid fits into your lifestyle. If you mostly do city driving and want to cut fuel bills, a hybrid is exactly what you want. If you still want some racing power and efficiency over long drives, maybe look elsewhere. The technology is getting better and it will soon grow to create a great all round car. For now, there are still a few hiccups.

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Electric cars have been around for several decades, believe it or not! People first started driving electric cars at the beginning of the 20th century. At the time, they got used by people that travelled within city limits.

These days electric cars have made something of a comeback. Car manufacturers and governments worldwide are investing millions of dollars developing such eco-friendly cars. As a result, it’s now possible to buy electric cars that offer reasonable mileage between charges.

toyota fcv Electric Vs. Hydrogen Fuel Cell Cars: Which Is Better?

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Don’t get me wrong. The electric car industry still has a long way to go before we can do comparisons against gas-powered cars. At the moment, cars that offer a range of 250+ miles are usually ones at the higher end of the market.

To solve the problem for now, various car makers sell hybrid cars. These are cars that have a small gas or diesel engine and work in conjunction with an electric motor for low-speed journeys.

But if you want an all-electric solution that offers zero carbon emissions, are there any other options open to you? It turns out that there is – sort of! Hydrogen fuel cell technology is making headlines these days in the auto world.

What is hydrogen fuel cell technology?

With a conventional electric car, you charge it up using a power cord connected to a socket at your home or elsewhere. For rapid charging, people can connect their car’s power cord to a “fast charger.” That reduces charging time from a few hours to just under one hour.

Hydrogen fuel cell cars are also electric cars as they use electric motors to propel the car and power its ancillary functions. The difference is you don’t plug in a hydrogen fuel cell car – you fill it up like a typical gas car.

You fill up your car’s hydrogen tank much, in the same way, that you’d fill a gas tank up. The time to fill up the hydrogen tank is around three minutes. That’s a major selling point for people that don’t want to wait hours before they can drive again.

Pros and cons of hydrogen fuel cell cars

When I was in Inchcape Toyota in Guildford recently, I was reading a brochure about the new Toyota FCV. It’s the Japanese firm’s hydrogen-powered car. It promised eco-friendly motoring.

The trouble is; there is not much infrastructure for buying hydrogen. You can’t just go to any old gas station and buy it like you would diesel, for instance. Toyota said the cost of buying hydrogen would be akin to gas.

But unless you live in California or even in Toyota’s native Japan, your scope for buying hydrogen fuel today is slim! There is also the fact that it takes a lot of electricity to create hydrogen. That’s a fact car makers aren’t too keen to tell their customers.

Pros and cons of electric cars

Electric car charging points are more common these days than say five years ago. They are cheaper to buy than hydrogen fuel cell cars, and you can charge your car anywhere that has an electrical socket.

Infrastructure for charging points still isn’t as widespread as people would like. Hydrogen fuel cell cars might become popular because of the quick refuel times. But there are still many challenges to overcome. In many respects, electric cars come out as the winner.

Thanks for reading today’s article. See you soon!

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