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Gas Prices This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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     Lately, prices at the gas pump have been going up, up and up, which is a problem because most of us don't have that kind of money to spend on gas. A hybrid car is a good solution since they get as many as 68 miles to the gallon.

You may wonder how a hybrid works. It is a combination of a gasoline-powered and an electric car. When the car stops, a computer shuts off the gas and turns on the electric power so you don't waste gas. These cars are more aerodynamic and have stiffer tires, reducing the drag so air passes over the car easier and you get more miles per gallon. When the car stops, the brake power charges the electric battery so the car doesn't need to be plugged in.

Step into a hybrid, turn it on, and you'll see how quiet it is. That's because the car's electric generator starts up the combustion engine. As soon as it warms up, the generator shuts off. Now the car will run on pure electricity until you reach a speed of 15 miles an hour. For the rest of your ride a computer will calculate when to let the gas engine work or the electric motor.

The hybrid has a gasoline engine like a normal car (only smaller) and uses newer technology that reduces pollution. The electric motor is really complicated. Advanced electronics allow it to act as a generator and a motor. The batteries store energy for the electric motor.

On average, if you use a hybrid car you will save $300 per year based on 12 fill-ups per year. Every day Americans use eight million barrels of oil. If Americans raised the fuel efficiency average just one gallon per mile, we'd save twice as much oil. If we can raise fuel efficiency an average of 2.7 miles a gallon, we could eliminate oil imports from Iraq and Kuwait. If the efficiency is increased 7.6 miles per gallon, we could eliminate all oil imports. That's why these cars that get 20-30 more miles per gallon than non-hybrids are better.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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