• The Best Hybrid Car: American or Japanese?

    The best hybrid car is one that is affordable, fuel efficient and has innovative technological and safety features. There is some debate on whether the American hybrid car or the Japanese hybrid car is the best. The comparison is based on several criteria given below.

    Experience

    The Japanese have an edge over the Americans when it comes to experience. Before the Toyota Prius was launched by them in 1997, the Japanese manufacturer had researched alternative next-generation hybrid technologies for more than 30 years. This has paid off, as Japanese hybrid cars are extremely popular with consumers. American hybrid car manufacturers such as General Motors, Ford and Dodge have achieved results in research on advanced hybrid systems only since 1993.

    Technology

    The Japanese are undisputed leaders when it comes to alternative fuel technology, whereas America has recently started producing hybrid cars and are far behind the Japanese who have had 20 separate technologies already licensed. The Americans are still specializing in manufacturing trucks and SUVs.

    The Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE)

    The regulations of the Corporate Average Fuel Economy require that the average mileage of cars sold by a car manufacturer should be 27.5 mpg. This means that if one hybrid car is sold, the car manufacturer can sell 4 less efficient cars. American car manufacturers are keen on manufacturing hybrid cars, not to get into the hybrid car market, but to take advantage of CAFE regulations.

    Fuel Efficiency

    Toyota and Honda manufacture hybrid cars that are the most fuel efficient. 16 out of the top 22 hybrid fuel efficient cars are Japanese, and 6 are American.

    Cost

    Cost plays an important role in the comparison of Japanese and American hybrid vehicles. Hybrid cars manufactured by Japanese auto manufacturers are cheaper to purchase than hybrid cars manufactured by American auto manufacturers, currently.

    Taking all these factors into consideration, Japanese hybrid cars seem to have an edge over American hybrid cars, but this could change in the near future.