As the demand for hybrid vehicles increases the question everyone wants to know is “what’s new for 2011?” The biggest buzz for next year is the Lithium Ion Battery Technology. Asian auto makers such as Toyota, Honda, Kia, and Hyundai have worked diligently to revolutionize the future of hybrid technology. The answer lies with in Lithium Ion Batteries. The issues that auto manufacturers faced with conventional batteries had to do with the life of a fully charged battery. The other problem was the size, lack of power, and expense. Lithium batteries pack more power and last longer than traditional batteries on the market. Now that Toyota has sold over one million hybrids world wide the company will focus on reducing the cost of their hybrid vehicles by one-half according to Toyota’s president.

Hyundai has taken charge with their 2011 hybrid Sonata. This all new hybrid can run on an electric motor, the traditional gasoline combustion engine, or a combination of both. The most innovative concept to this car is the Sonata’s Blue Drive System. This system uses a compact six speed transmission that no longer needs a torque converter. This model is equipped with a modified starter generator, low friction oil pump, electric motor, and lithium polymer battery technology.

The next thing to look forward to is full size 2011 hybrids. Most hybrids to date have been of the compact persuasion. The Toyota Prius is probably the most popular in its class, but when one is used to a full size car a Prius may not fill their expectations. Many manufacturers are now developing full size SUV’s with hybrid technology. This will give the consumer an edge that did not exist when shopping for a fuel efficient full size vehicle. The question asked is “will the full size hybrids have the same power and performance as the combustion engine models?” The future looks promising, but only time will tell. As the new era of hybrids hit the street in 2011 the new features and designs will turn a head or two.

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