Throughout the past several weeks the economy of the United States and other large importers of oil have struggled to maintain positive amidst the turmoil in the middle-east. Civil unrest and pressure have led to a decrease in oil production and increase in the price for a single barrel. We have seen prices reach the $100 mark and beyond, and there are no signs of a ceiling.

These two year highs for the price of crude oil have led to OPEC releasing more supplies from our reserves, but it has not quelled the price hike. California is currently suffering from the highest prices nationwide and they have reached within a cent of $4.00 per gallon for regular unleaded. This has put added strain on a struggling economic environment for many people and, if this continues, it will drag our economy further down. With cars like the Toyota Prius and other hybrids hitting the market every week, it is good to see that the manufacturers are realizing that gasoline will not be the answer to our future problems.

The major auto shows and car introductions across the world, including the biggest in the United States, Detroit, are where auto manufacturers try to sell the public hot-air. Most of the amazing and futuristic concept cars are so far on the other side of being a production possibility they might as well be alien. The recent economic climate across the world has shifted the car companies in a new direction and the consumer continues to pull them even further. People are eager for cars that are economical and exciting – most people enjoy driving, just not having to pay $4.00 per gallon to do it.

With our economy in the United States struggling to get on the move and other governments imploding near our precious oil resources, it is time to look to these car companies for answers about what the big conglomerates are going to do to help us out. This March in Geneva some of the most influential companies in the market gave us some answers and they’re not bluffing.

I’ll Take That Hybrid, Please

Gas prices on the rise; What are our options? Exterior
- image 396027

Hybrid vehicles have long since bored the heck out of the bonafide fossil-fuel loving man. However, we have slowly begun to change our tune and accept that these cars can help us out in more ways than one. Hybrid technology is about more than just the drivetrain technology that boosts you above 30 miles-per-gallon; these cars are about the technology utilized throughout the entire vehicle that will enhance our lives for years to come. Steve Jobs and Apple may be leading the way in hand-held portable electronic devices, but the connectivity of your iPad has nothing on the newest creations from BMW and its rivals.

Some of the most simple ways to help with the rising prices is to purchase a vehicle that can achieve better mileage. Currently, the market offers several new vehicles that break the 40mpg mark which could help lower your annual fuel costs to the neighborhood of $1,500. President Clinton was the first to challenge the auto companies to create vehicles that could break the 100mpg mark - this has not really been achieved yet, but they are getting close. The Nissan Leaf has a combined fuel economy of 99mpg. This car is a full electric vehicle and not a hybrid. Personally, I don’t think it is the right time to buy a full-electric car. Technology in this field is expanding rapidly, but the hybrid world is more developed. If your batteries ever ran out in a hybrid, you would still be able to make it home instead of calling a tow-truck.

The 5 best current offerings for improved gas mileage include:

Make Model Mileage
Audi A3 Diesel 42mpg
Volkswagen Jetta TDI 42mpg
Honda Civic Hybrid 43mpg
Nissan Leaf 99mpg
Smart ForTwo 41mpg

Everyone’s Getting in on the Hybrid Game

2011 Land Rover Range e High Resolution Exterior
- image 392594

Land Rover is not a company known for its environmentally friendly approach. In fact, one of their most memorable events was the Camel Trophy races of yesteryear where decked out Land Rover Defenders would thrash through just about every natural environment known to man and try to survive. Having been domesticated by the likes of BMW and Ford ownership, Land Rover has realized that in order to expand market reach they must actually appeal to today’s consumer. The large Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models do have appeal, but imagine a hybrid version. Enter the Range Rover_e, introduced at Geneva this year; this Range Rover’s will be Diesel-Hybrid’s capable of running on full-electric power.

Don’t Want or Can’t Get a Hybrid?

2011 Ford Fiesta
- image 336490

There are of course ways to conserve fuel without changing the vehicle you already own or switching to hybrid technology. The easiest way is to take care of the car you do have. Over the years of stop and go driving and high mileage your vehicle is no longer getting its stated per gallon mileage. Having regular oil changes, tire rotations, alignments, and tune-ups can help to keep your vehicle running more efficiently for longer. Another interesting way to save fuel is to buy a newer version of the car you might already own. Hybrids are not the only efficient vehicles today and many of the newest internal combustion vehicles have terrific mileage figures. For instance, I drive a 2005 MINI Cooper, which should have great mileage, but I average around 21mpg. The newest 2011 version of virtually the same car achieves 36mpg.

Other engine powered cars with better than average mileage:

Make Model Mileage
Kia Forte 36mpg
Hyundai Accent 36mpg
Ford Fiesta 38mpg

Our Future

Gas prices on the rise; What are our options?
- image 396033

This year’s auto shows did have their fill of your run of the mill supercars like the new Lamborghini Aventador and a fair share of crazy concepts like the Scorp-Ion car, but it mainly gave way to the newest technologies and ways to conserve fuel in exciting and enjoyable ways. It is also important to remember our strain on the environment as more and more internal combustion engines hit the road. These vehicles have been a detriment to the air quality of many large cities. Recently, a study was released that found that the smog created by these emissions is more deadly than smoking. Things are nearing a critical point and the American consumer has begun to shift their priorities towards more efficient uses of our dwindling resources.

Matt McDonald
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What do you think?
Show Comments


  (762) posted on 07.3.2012

We should not ignore the fact that this is really targeted to accommodate a lot.

  (762) posted on 07.3.2012

Just go on with the flow!

  (402) posted on 06.29.2012

These options don’t actually matter to me.

  (630) posted on 05.31.2012

The fuel engines are not convertible into Hybrid right? So the only way is to buy a new car that is Hybrid, Plug-in or Electrical. 

  (314) posted on 05.30.2012

My unwavering choice is still the hybrid. It’s like a 2-in-1 car.

  (558) posted on 03.13.2012

For car owners, hybrid might be the best option. However, for a person like me who can’t afford cars yet, it’s not a problem since the fare I spend for commuting is a lot lesser.

  (613) posted on 10.19.2011

It is really a tough question, but I think hybrid cars are really the best option or solution with our problem though in hybrid, we still need to consume few gases, and they were right hybrid cars are more affordable nowadays than electric car.

  (428) posted on 08.11.2011

The main image of this article is very funny. I like the way they show how the fuel crisis affects our economy . By the way, much better if we will use electric cars rather than hybrid. Hybrid is more expensive than electric cars so it can be afforded by those people in the middle class.

  (444) posted on 08.1.2011

Well, for the wealthy folks hybrid car would be the best option. But a car that offers a better fuel economy is the best option in times like this.

  (762) posted on 08.1.2011

Well, In this case it’s better to simply use a public vehicle! Hybrid cars are too expensive and the price of gas is getting higher.. If you really want to spend less for maintenance and fuel!

  (599) posted on 07.21.2011

The gas price is very high in our current time that is why tuning companies are promoting these economy cars like Hybrid. This is going to be a big hit in our economy if the gas will be as high as the Eiffel Tower.

  (553) posted on 05.27.2011

Indeed, that’s the best way to ensure that your car wouldn’t go breaking down on you. And you really need not go obsessive on maintenance, just a regular check up will go a long way.

  (25) posted on 03.31.2011

For all those who cannot buy Hybrids or tune up their cars, the good old method of caring and maintenance always saves fuel and provides longer performance for the car. But in case, you can get your hands on a Hybrid, make sure, you still need maintenance.

  (313) posted on 03.25.2011

It’s not opposing the hybrid and electric cars concept but i have a little doubt about it. I think manufacture should make a further research on its concept especially the electric cars. We can’t say that electric car will be purely runs the car with full blast electric. Somehow, you will used the diesel engine when that thing happen. BTW, it should be called electric-diesel hybrid!

  (302) posted on 03.16.2011

Come to think of it, if this situation worsens, even hybrid cars would have a problem. Think about it, hybrids also need gas to run.

  (472) posted on 03.16.2011

Actually, there is no easy way to go through this one. As it is, it might be sooner than we think, so probably, we have to find alternative ways of moving.

  (727) posted on 03.16.2011

It was so threatening to hear about the price increase of the fuel because it would definitely affect even the basic commodities but the suggestion were great. Hybrid would be a smart choose for fuel crisis but the only problem is that they have a freaking high price.
Aside from that selecting a car that has a better gas mileage is a good choice too. But i think,
the best would be using public vehicle by means of transportation.

  (937) posted on 03.15.2011

Yeah, we might as well start looking for alternatives on how to get around without using our cars that much. From the looks of it, the whole thing might take some time before it settles.

  (386) posted on 03.14.2011

Well then, it might as well be time for us to start learning how to pedal our way around New York this time. From the looks of it, we might be doing just that for a while.

  (345) posted on 03.14.2011

yeah, its kinda sad to hear the political crisis in middle east and how
it affects the world fuel economy! I hope everything will be back into normal.

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