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The car industry
Hybrid cars cut fuel use by using other power sources
Engine: More efficient than traditional engine found in most cars
Electric motor: Uses magnets to produce output
Battery: Charged by engine via generator when cruising, or electric motor when braking
Power split device: Allows engine and motor to be used independently, or together
Braking system: Energy from braking recharges battery, by using motor as generator
Inverter: Converts DC power from battery to AC power for motor

Sales of 'green' cars are rising worldwide and form an increasingly important part of manufacturers' plans.

They include hybrids like Toyota's Prius. It does over 50mpg and combines a petrol engine with an electric motor, which it can run on in towns.

Toyota has sold more than 500,000 hybrids and plans to introduce new models.

GM has plans for a green car called the Chevrolet Volt.

Intended to be the first mass produced car powered solely by an electric motor, it would plug in to recharge.

It could also feature hydrogen fuel cells and an ethanol-based petrol engine.

But the Volt is years, if not decades, away from commercial production.


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