Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fun Facts About Hybrid Vehicles

Toyota Prius
Did you know...
(information from
  • The first plans for a hybrid were developed by priest and astronomer Ferdinand Verbiest some time between 1665 and 1825.
  • An electric-powered taxicab was introduced in England in 1886, and the London Electric Cab Company began regular service using electric cars in 1897.
  • Over 500 electric cars were built in 1897-1899.
  • In 1900, American car companies built 1,681 steam cars, 1,575 electric cars, and 936 gasoline cars. 
  • Read more fun facts on
Many of the manufacturers, including General Motors, were introducing hybrids on order in the 1980s-1990s. If the technology was around so early for electric cars, why did it take until 1997 for Toyota to introduce the first mass-produced hybrid, which is the Prius?
  • Battery technology in the last 15-20 years is what's made it possible for hybrid cars to be on the market now. The batteries wouldn't last long enough. 
  • Batteries take a long time to recharge, don't put out as much power as gasoline. For a long time, gasoline was cheap, but now that gas prices are going up, the federal government has put out incentives for car manufacturers to improve batteries and electric cars.
  • Batteries still take a long time to charge, which is why you don't see many "full electric vehicles". You'll never get the power and convenience out of batteries as you do petroleum based fuels (gasoline, diesel, fossil fuels).
  • On full electric vehicles, you can drive approximately 40-50 miles, then you have to plug it in and let it charge for approximately six hours.
  • The Chevy Volt runs on electric for approximately 40-50 miles, then switches to gas and electric, and charges the battery while on gas. 
DON'T FORGET! We are now ACDC certified to work on and repair hybrid / electric vehicle cars!
We have spent the last year and a half getting all the training necessary to be the only independent repair shop along the Wasatch Front certified to work on and repair hybrid cars.

May 2011, Mark and Chad flew to California for a hybrid training class. Craig VanBattenberg from Massachusetts was the instructor, and did such a fabulous job teaching, that Mark invited him here to teach a training class on hybrids / electric vehicles.

May 2012, VanBattenberg's staff and our staff had worked for a month and a half calling auto repair shops from Ogden to Provo to invite them to the training, but the class ended up consisting of only Mark, Gary, Chad and Preston. 

June 2012, Chad flew to Massachusetts to attend a six day, advanced hybrid / electric vehicle training class, also taught by VanBattenberg. The first two days were in class training, and the third and fourth day were in a shop doing hands-on training. The fifth and sixth days were a mix of in-class and hands-on, reviewing and confirming what he had learned the previous days. The class had 16 people split up into groups of four. There were enough cars for every person in the class to work on one. The instructor had a variety of hybrid / electric vehicles to learn on, including two first generation Prius, two Second Generation Prius, two Ford Escape Hybrids, two Honda Insights, a Chevrolet Volt and a Honda Accord Hybrid. During the class, the instructor had each group make a short presentation for the rest of the class so that everyone had a chance to learn the same material. While in the shop it was basically learn whatever you wanted and the teacher had all his tools, scopes, and meters so that any questions that arose, we could figure them out.  Each group also had an ACDC employee with them to answer questions and help repair the vehicles. Every car was taken apart and put back together more than once. Chad's group took a Prius that would not even move and rebuilt the high voltage battery in it. After getting the car fixed, they tested it out to see what happens if there is a high voltage short to ground. They found out the cars are built very safe.

"After being in this class I feel very comfortable testing and repairing Hybrid and Electrical vehicles," Chad said. "They can be very dangerous to anyone that doesn’t know what they are doing if they remove the wrong protective cover or grab a part of the high voltage system without the proper protection."

FREE Hybrid / Electric Vehicle battery test!
Spread the word to your friends and family that own hybrid / electric vehicles that we will test their battery for free to make sure it's ready for Winter! You can visit us at Gines Auto Service in Kearns at 4261 W 5415 S. You can also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.


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