One of the important problems faced by the United States of America, which is causing serious threat to its economy, is its growing dependence on imported oil. This oil forms more than 97% of the fuels used in America. Majority of Americans believe that this dependence is to be reduced. This is mainly because it is affecting national security by wasting billions of dollars in Persian Gulf. It is causing pollution and contributing a lot to global warming. An important strategy to cut this oil dependence is to switch over to Plug-in Hybrid Electric vehicles (Sandalow 8).
The technology is quite feasible and at present there are vehicles that run on electric power on the roads of America. Electricity is cheap and is available in surplus in America. So this surplus energy could be effectively utilized by producing vehicles that run on this power. The problems with electric vehicle are that the battery is too heavy and it has to be recharged more than once in a long run. But now there are hybrid vehicles that can automatically switch over to gasoline, when the electric charge is reduced. Lithium and nickel could be used in the manufacture of such engines, which will reduce its weight to a great extent.
It requires $5000 to $6000 to convert a vehicle to electric one. Government can provide this amount as tax benefits or subsidy to the users and can encourage them to do so. The cost from the part of the government will be high initially, but when compared to the savings it is going to make by reduction in oil consumption, these initial costs are too less. Such vehicles travel 3 to 4 miles in one KwH. This means that it is same as getting gasoline for 75 cents per gallon. Above all such vehicle causes no pollution at all and will make America, a paradise on earth.
It is believed that by 2025 one third of the vehicles in America will be hybrids, that is 45 billion gallons on oil can be replaced. Thus it could be seen that America’s dependence on oil could be reduced very easily by switching over to hybrid electric vehicles. In this way a considerable amount of money could be saved and at the same time the earth could be protected from global warming. Work cited Sandalow, David. “Ending Oil Dependence :Protecting National Security, the Environment and the Economy” http://abcnews. go. com/images/Politics/PB_Energy_Sandalow. pdf. 2008 (accessed on 29 November 2008)