Plowing a Quarter Inch of Snow Feels Less Guilty With a Hybrid Snowblower

Cars aren't the only thing that runs on fossil fuels, so Honda has taken some of the technology they developed for its hybrid vehicles like the Civic and Insight, and applied it to their first snowblower to feature an electric drivetrain.

The HS1336i still includes a gasoline engine, the company's four-stroke iGX390, which provides the power needed for the spinning auger and blower mechanism to plow through heavy snowfalls with ease. But it also serves as a generator, charing a battery which powers a pair of electric motors giving the snowblower its forward propulsion. Like with their hybrid vehicles, when the snowblower is decelerating the electric motors become additional generators, recapturing the lost energy and topping off the battery. And since batteries aren't exactly at their optimal performance in freezing temperatures, every little bit helps.

In addition to lower fuel consumption, the hybrid features of the $8,000 HS1336i also help to lower its deafening racket and reduce vibrations, making it easier to operate. But I'm probably just going to stick with Honda's hybrid vehicles, which are even better at dealing with snow by whisking me away to Florida. [Honda via Autoblog]