Energy is the ultimate addiction of civilization. The industries, transportation vehicles, and several other technologies are powered by energy. Automobiles are one of the highly-used technologies today, since it provides man an efficient mode of transport. Most vehicles are powered by gasoline obtained from the world’s different petroleum reservoirs. The big issue is that petroleum is a non-renewable form of energy, and sooner or later, it will reach depletion. Through that process, the cost of gasoline will continue to soar. This is the reason why alternative car technologies are being introduced.
Hybrid cars and Electric cars are beginning to rattle the car industries today. They offer promises of economical advantages and environmental solutions. But which of these cars are actually more efficient; fuel-powered, electric, or hybrid? Electric cars seem to be the great solution, the invention that is the answer to man’s agony about oil depletion and inflation. By car efficiency ratios and thorough analysis, one can analyze which type of car is best. A gas-powered car needs a fuel tank to supply gasoline to its engine. Gas-powered cars dominate the streets in this era.
They are well-liked by the public, primarily because they are efficient, practically having great speed and competent abilities to suit its user. Disadvantages are, they produce a relatively large amount of pollution and they generally get poor gas mileage. Since gas-powered cars of dominance, the introduction of alternative-powered cars created a surge of applauses and criticisms from the public. When the electric car is introduced, it is coined as the ‘environmental-friendly car’. It is highly-publicized as the savior car which can solve oil crisis and can minimize gas emissions.
Truthfully, an electric car produces almost no pollution, but it can go from only 50 to 100 miles between charges. For a car to be efficient, it must be able to transport its passengers for at least 300 miles before refueling (Nice & Layton, n. d. , p. 1 ). In addition, an electric car runs very slow as compared to the gas-powered car. Yes, it is convenient to charge electric cars at home, but after the car has run its maximum capacity, it is inconvenient to recharge outdoors. Furthermore, electric cars may not deplete oil reservoirs and it is environmental-friendly in that aspect.
But they are powered using electricity, which comes mostly from burning coal. It should be known that coal is a non-renewable form of energy. Electricity in the Unites States is largely generated by coal burning electric power plants. All over the world, coal is also used as the main component for their power plants. Electric cars may save the earth from petroleum depletion but would lead to coal-depletion instead. Coal-burning power plants emit smoke and other substances. If only power plants are powered by renewable forms of energy like solar, wind or hydro, then pollution would post no problem.
The electric car does not produce gas emissions, but trekking its origin of power, power plants emit more fumes in generating the electricity to be used in charging the vehicle. In reality, electric cars indirectly produce gas emissions, thus, it is not the best solution to pollution. Moreover, the electric power grid could not supply all electric vehicles with power. If all car-users would charge their automobiles, supply of electricity must be very, very abundant. More electricity generating power plants should be constructed the moment the car industry switches to electric mobiles.
The Hybrid car then comes to the scenario posing a seemingly-marvelous solution to the problem. It attempts to combine the set-up of a gas-powered and electric-powered car, such that car mileage is increased, emissions are reduced, and car efficiency is maintained. It consists of a gasoline engine smaller than those of gas-powered cars. The engine uses advanced technologies to reduce emissions and increase efficiency. Fuel tank is the energy storage device for gas engine, while batteries are the storage for the electric motor..
The electric motor functions as a motor, which can draw energy from the batteries to accelerate the car, as well as a generator, which can slow down the car and return energy to the batteries. The generator is similar to an electric motor, but it only acts to produce electrical power. The transmission on a hybrid car performs the similar function as the transmission on a conventional car. There are two types of hybrid cars, the parallel hybrid and series hybrid. In the parallel-hybrid car, fuel tank provides gasoline to engine while batteries supply power to electric motor.
Simultaneously, engine and electric motor work together to turn transmission, which in turn rotates the wheels. As a result, both the electric motor and the gas engine can provide propulsion power. On the other hand, in a series hybrid, the engine turns a generator which can either charge the batteries or power the electric motor that drives the transmission (Nice & Layton, n. d. , p. 3). (Hybrid Cars, 2009) Why go alternative? First, the mileage would increase- a hybrid car can go 20 km or more to a liter. Second, it is more environmentally friendly.
Third, it has a great appeal for the fuel-conscious and environmentally-concerned citizens. Leonardo DiCaprio drives four hybrid cars (Alina, 2006). Seemingly, only celebrities and wealthy people can afford these auto innovations because of their amazing price. Nevertheless, hybrid still attracts car enthusiasts because of its efficiency and environmental responsibility. Sadly, amidst the high interest and demand of fuel-conscious consumers, hybrid cars still remain in the shadows of gas-powered cars. Toyota Prius, one of the most sought-after brands of hybrid cars, is still not much accessible in the market.
After its boom, Toyota announced that it would double its production of Prius to meet U. S. consumer demand. But they are having difficulties in massive productions because there is limited supply of hybrid parts, such as the rechargeable batteries and the computers that control the cars’ dual electric and gas-powered motors (Eng, 2004). Evidently, the hybrid car is a big threat to the electric car model. Even before electric car has been highly-established in the market, the hybrid has already dominated over it. Hybrid cars do not delay the solution to the all electric vehicle; it supplements it.
It is just an evolution of the former model of the electric car. Hybrid vehicles have a greater range than an all-electric vehicle for it leverages both gas power and electric power. An all-electric car would not meet everyone’s needs for vehicle power and performance; thus it is not the final solution. At this stage, it is safe to say that hybrid cars are evidently more efficient than electric cars. References Alina S. (2006). Leonardo DiCaprio is driving a Toyota Prius. Retrieved May 6, 2009, from http://www. topspeed.
com/cars/car-news/leonardo-dicaprio-is-driving-a-toyota-prius-ar12832. html Eng P. (2004). Batteries, Parts Delay Hybrid Car Production. Retrieved May 6, 2009, from http://search. yahoo. com/search? p=leonardo+dicaprio+hybrid+car&vc=&fr=fptb-ytbm-s&toggle=1&cop=mss&ei=UTF-8&fp_ip=PH Hybrid Cars. (2009). Top Hybrid Cars: A Complete Guide. Retrieved May 6, 2009, from http://www. hybridcars. com/hybrid-reviews Nice K. , & Layton J. (n. d. ). How Hybrid Cars Work. Retrieved May 6, 2009, from http://auto. howstuffworks. com/fuel-efficiency/vehicles/hybrid-car1. htm
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