Hybrid Cars and the Environment

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 3:04 AM

Hybrid cars are increasingly being touted as the cars of the future. They are supposedly extremely environment-friendly vehicles. The following article examines the relationship between hybrid cars and the environment.


A lot of people around the world are increasingly taking interest in the concept of hybrid cars. Hybrid cars are being promoted as a feasible solution to the world's fuel problems. At the same time, they are said to be less-damaging to the environment, as compared to cars which run entirely on gasoline. But before I move on to the relationship between hybrid cars and the environment, let me first introduce you to the concept of a hybrid car.

What is a Hybrid Car?
For those of you who are new to the concept of hybrid cars, here is a short introduction. A hybrid car is quite similar to a gasoline-powered car except that, in this case, there are two or more sources of power (unlike regular cars which have one common power source - gasoline or diesel). In a hybrid car, one source of power is generally gasoline, whereas the other power sources could be any of the following:
Solar energy
Pressurized or compressed air
Electric batteries
Fuel cells
Liquid petroleum gas (LPG)
Liquified nitrogen
Hydrogen
Alternative fuels and biofuels
Wind energy
Manpower
From the above list, it is quite clear that there can be quite a few options when it comes to multiple power sources for a hybrid vehicle. Over the past few years, automobile companies around the world have been testing and trying out various power source combinations in an effort to come up with the best possible power source from the overall perspective of cost, effectivity and efficiency. You can read more on the Toyota Prius, which is an extremely popular hybrid car in the United States. Let us now have a look at the interrelation between hybrid vehicles and the environment.

Hybrid Cars and the Environment
Rather than bothering you with the technicalities regarding how does a hybrid car work, I will instead, focus on how and why they are beneficial to the environment. Are they really a savior to the world's fuel problems? Or are they all hype and no substance? How will they impact the environment and the prevailing pollution levels? Let us try and answer all these questions.

Positive Impact of Hybrid Cars on the Environment
How do hybrid cars help the environment? The answer to this question can be understood in its totality by comparing the effects of both, hybrid cars and gasoline-powered cars on the environment

By Aldanah Bin Muammar

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