What have you always wondered about the economy? Tell Us
Codebreaker

Hybrid minivans coming soon

John Moe Apr 1, 2011

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Chrysler have teamed up to make hybrid minivans that could be cheaper than current hybrid systems, which get energy in part from braking to charge the battery. What the EPA and Chrysler are working on is a way to capture energy with a hydraulic system – this system can get more energy from braking than conventional systems. From MIT’s Technology Review: “To make the system work in minivans, engineers will need to find ways to incorporate bulky air storage tanks–which take up more space than the car’s gas tank–without eating into cargo or passenger space, and without compromising safety.” There already are some big vehicles with this kind of hybrid system, like garbage trucks. They can “save more than 1,000 gallons of fuel per year on average, reduce emissions by up to 20 percent, and, by reducing the use of friction brakes, extend brake life by up to 300 percent.”

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.