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Are Hybrid Cars The Answer To The Fuel Crisis?

1086 words - 4 pages

Hybrid automobiles are not the answer to the current fuel crisis in the United States. A common misconception with automobiles is that electric motors can somehow use less power to advance a vehicle along a road. This is not the case, as the laws of physics cannot be bent. An automobile needs a specific amount of power to travel along a road at a given speed, it does not matter what source is providing said power. These so called “green” automobiles, which are considered to be hybrids and electric cars, are actually less green than their internal combustion engine powered counterparts. With that said, they only seem so efficient because the matter in which they are tested does not accurately represent how a typical daily driver would drive. Auto manufacturers are neglecting to provide useful information about a hybrids performance, that is, the fuel economy of a hybrid as its battery is charging. It’s often the case that a battery need be recharged after 40 to 60 miles of driving, and that is where the fuel economy isn’t so peachy. The plug in solutions that manufacturers are pushing for by means of mass adoption, are only creating more pollution. The filthy air rising from powerplants’ smoke stacks is a byproduct of coal being burnt, which in turns provides electricity to charge up the batteries of a hybrid.
Sir Isaac Newton’s third law of motion states that, “If body A exerts a force on body B, then body B will exert an equal and opposite force back on A for the same period of time” (Wikipedia). In relation to driving an automobile, this means that in order for a vehicle to accelerate along a road, it has to overcome wind resistance and friction between the tires and pavement. Most importantly, both forces are related to the vehicles instantaneous velocity and it does not matter where the power comes from. This is also why a driver feels a breeze when he opens his window whilst driving; the car is displacing the air that is in front of it. Coincidentally, aerodynamic drag is dependent on the overall shape, size, weight and velocity of an automobile. So clearly, a Ford Escape SUV has more drag than a Corvette; a Corvette is sleek and low to the ground, while the Escape is shaped like a brick. Ergo, it takes the Escape more power to travel the same distance as the Corvette. Consequently, a car’s fuel efficiency is largely dependent on its aerodynamic drag, not the engine powering it. The Conservation of Energy Law denotes that energy cannot be created or destroyed (Wikipedia). Consumers must understand that to power their hybrids, there must be an energy source. This is why there are gasoline-powered engines in hybrids; they recharge the batteries, which power the electric motors. An even greater misconception is that more energy is created because the generator is charging the batteries. This cannot be farther from the truth, the energy that is the “input” or the system, must be equivalent to the energy that is the “output” of the...

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