Hybrid Vehicles, you see their advertisements everywhere, On TV on the radio or on the Internet. The main selling point of hybrid vehicles advertisements tend to be the same, you can save a lot of money by buying a hybrid vehicle. However hybrid vehicles do more than save you money at the gas pump, They also help save the environment. Today’s hybrid technology can help the general consumer get to where they need to go with the added benefit of reducing greenhouse gasses and also help greatly diminish the need to use fossil fuels. Lastly, the general consumer must consider which hybrid fulfilled their needs also taking to account what are the actual benefit each hybrid vehicle outputs.
One the first reasons why people consider buying hybrid vehicles is to save money. Reducing the need fuel up your vehicle usually equates to more money to the consumer pocket. However reducing our fuel consumption also helps the environment the reducing the unnecessary energy wasted compared to regular gas powered vehicles. As pointed out by Morelli he states “it has been shown that the batteries utilized in electric vehicles carry an environmental burden in addition to those found in a comparable gas-burning vehicle, but this does not overshadow the benefit of eliminating fossil fuel combustion.” Based on Morelli statement he points out that even though the batteries in electric vehicles do add another element of pollution compared to gas powered vehicles, Reducing the consumption of fossil fuels outweigh the downside of electric vehicles. Morelli statements justify the use of hybrid vehicles a good alternative technology that will benefit the environment.
A second reason why hybrid vehicles are beneficial to the environment would be because the general consumer does not need to travel great distances for most daily activities. In fact, Frank points out “The typical driver travels less than 40 miles a day. Thus having a car with at least a 40-mile range on battery power alone would allow most people to use no gasoline at all on a daily basis if they could recharge their car’s batteries at night by plugging them into an electric outlet. This practice would not only save consumers money at the pump, it would at the same time reduce their tailpipe emissions to zero. Those who drive farther than 40 miles a day would, of course, have to use some gasoline in their cars, but much less than they now do.” (pgs. 60-61) Per Frank, he suggests that most people on average travel about 40 miles on a daily basis. If most people would opt in using a hybrid vehicle that would have the capacity in driving 40 miles on pure electric power. The consumer could take advantage of not needing to fill up their gas tank so often and assist the environment by scaling down their smog emissions. However, Andrew does add the need to travel more than 40 miles is a reality and it would be necessary to use the gas power engines functionality of a hybrid to take over. But the need to depend on the gasoline engine would comparatively less than today use of petroleum.
Another aspect that hybrid vehicles most people don’t take into account is the production process of building a hybrid and the energy it is expended to construct a hybrid vehicle. For example, hybrid vehicles require the use of batteries as their main source of energy. And building a lithium battery does require expend more energy compared to building a conventional gas vehicle. Even though that may be true as Roos compares the facts and states “According to an in-depth study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, hybrid cars do, in fact, require more energy to produce than conventional cars, emitting more greenhouse gasses and burning more fossil fuels during the manufacturing process. The production of hybrid batteries, in particular, requires much more energy than producing a standard car. “But do the environmental impacts of hybrid vehicle production outweigh the long-term benefits of driving a cleaner running automobile? That answer is a resounding “no.” If you drive both a conventional and hybrid car for 160,000 miles (257,495 kilometers), the conventional vehicle requires far more energy to operate and emits far more greenhouse gases over its lifetime, significantly canceling out any imbalance during the production stage” Based on Roos statements acknowledges that hybrid vehicle does require more energy to produce and slightly contributes more pollution to be dispersed into the environment during the initial construction compared to a gas powered vehicles. However, Roos does add hybrid vehicles long term effect helps the environment greatly that it outweighs the additional energy wasted during the initial construction of a hybrid vehicle.
In addition, another aspect to consider regards the benefits of hybrid vehicles is that using less petroleum not only reduces pollution to the environment. It also reduces the demand for use of petroleum. According to Wouk, “The power of a hybrid’s internal-combustion engine generally ranges from one tenth to one quarter that of a conventional automobile’s. This engine can run continuously and efficiently, so although an HEV, when its internal-combustion engine is running, emits more pollutants than a pure electric, it is much cleaner than a conventional car. In fact, a hybrid can be made almost as “clean” as a pure electric…there could be benefits both for the environment and for the balance of trade: imported petroleum now accounts for almost half of the country’s consumption.” (pg70) As Wouk illustrates the benefits of hybrid vehicles using less fuel creates a big effect on the consumption of petroleum. The general consumer would save money by using less fuel from a hybrid, but the long term effect would also benefit everyone as a whole because we would slash out dependence on foreign oil.
Lastly, a consumer must choose wisely and research what type of hybrid vehicle will best fit their needs and consider possible limitations of their choice. For Example, Holzman states “you might think that hybrid drivetrain tech- nology is inherently green. But only 13 of 34 hybrid vehicles assessed achieve better than a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and just 3 exceed a 40% reduction, according to an evaluation by the Union of Concerned Scientists.” Holzman statement uncovers that not all hybrid marked vehicles are the same. Per Holzman less than half of the hybrid vehicles in the market achieve satisfactory greenhouse gas reduction. Further, reinforces that a consumer should do proper research before purchasing any hybrid vehicles due to all hybrid vehicles do not provide the same benefits.
In conclusion hybrid vehicles are not only a good alternative technology that can be used save the environment. And in general most consumer on average do not need go further than 40 miles so the hybrid technology is able to accommodate most people needs with the added benefit of still having a gas powered engine to assist consumer on the longer trips. Although initially during the production phase a hybrid vehicles does require more energy to be expended and may add slightly additional pollution compared to a regular gas powered vehicles. Then long term benefits of a hybrid outweigh the initial pollution produced during construction. And in the long run using less fuel not only means less money spent on petroleum, but it also helps reduce our dependence on foreign oil. And lastly when deciding on a hybrid vehicles it would be best to choose which hybrid vehicles in the market provide the most benefit to the environment.
Morelli, Ben “Electrified Vehicles: A Solid Choice | Yale Environment Review”. Environment.yale.edu. N.p., 2017. Web. 22 Feb. 2017.
Roos, Daves “Does hybrid car production waste offset hybrid benefits?” 6 December 2010. HowStuffWorks.com. <http://science.howstuffworks.com/science-vs-myth/everyday-myths/does-hybrid-car-production-waste-offset-hybrid-benefits.htm> 5 March 2017
Frank, Andrew A. “Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles for a Sustainable Future: Appropriately Designed Hybrid Cars Will Help Wean Society off Petroleum. The Necessary Technology Is Available Now.” American Scientist, vol. 95, no. 2, 2007, pp. 158–165., www.jstor.org/stable/27858932.
Holzman, David C. “AIR POLLUTION. Scorecard Rates Emission Reductions of Hybrid Vehicles.” Environmental Health Perspectives, vol. 119, no. 9, 2011, pp. A384–A385., www.jstor.org/stable/41263123.
Wouk, Victor. “Hybrid Electric Vehicles They will reduce pollution and conserve petroleum. But will people buy them, even if the vehicles have astounding fuel efficiency?” Scientific American (1997): 70-74. Nature.com. Web. 4 Mar. 2017.