Hybrid Cars – Do They Really Help Decrease Pollution?
Hybrid cars seem to be generating a lot of hype nowadays. There is better fuel economy since a hybrid can give better mileage than a conventional petrol/diesel car. There is less carbon monoxide released as well and if the trend of purchasing more hybrids continues in future, it could lead to less fuel being needed and hence decrease the need for mainstream fuel powered cars.
The hybrid cars use the electric motor for lower speeds and the gas engine kicks in at higher speeds, which makes hybrids ideal for driving in the city. These cars help cut fuel emissions by around 25% more than a conventional gasoline powered vehicle. However, are they really doing the good they are supposed to? Is it really that perfect model of a car which contributes to a clean and green and most importantly “guilt-free” driving?
Let’s look at the other side of the picture – we really need to focus on how much energy is expended in producing the green products that reach us because that energy production causes pollution too. Hybrid cars require 4000 pounds of carbon in their production individually and most need large batteries such as nickel hydride which are well known carcinogens. Nickel mining is done in open cast mines and there is plenty of pollution that goes in that process. The hybrids are also pretty damn expensive, at least more than the normal cars. They are heavier because of the weight of the batteries which by the way discharge more quickly in winters too, adding to the already present worry of no real guarantee of how long an average battery lasts in the first place.The car has two motors and this therefore calls for a complex system to help manage them and a regeneration system to help produce electricity during breaking at a red light etc.
Nevertheless, the hybrid car relies on two main points to make sales- the green image and the banner of ‘new technology’ for the masses. However, most experts believe that the green cars are just a transition phase and something better in terms of automobile technology will eventually replace the fuel powered cars in future. Car-pooling, bicycling and simple walks are sure fire means to reduce environmental damage, no doubt about that. In the meantime, hybrid cars – yay or nay? Let us know what’s your take on them in the comments section below.