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Hybrid Vehicles Essay

2191 words - 9 pages

Global Warming and Going Green has raised everyone’s awareness about the importance of our environment. Traditional gasoline vehicles generate an extreme amount of pollutants that are harmful to the environment, which is what led to the development and popularity of hybrid vehicles. There are many types of hybrid fuels being developed and used. Three types of fuels will be compared: ethanol 85 (E85), diesel, and hydrogen. There are also human factors that play into the feasibility of manufacturing and marketing of hybrid vehicles in comparison to the existing fleet of standard gasoline powered vehicles.
Hybrid electric vehicles have been around as early as the 1800s, but cost and technology were not perfected to produce a hybrid engine that would be cost-effective for consumers. H. Piper, an American engineer, filed for a patent in 1905 to produce the hybrid engine he invented. By the time Piper’s patent was accepted, Henry Ford had developed the assembly line and destroyed any further interest in the hybrid engine Piper invented. In 1931, German inventor Erich Gaichen built a hybrid electric vehicle which resulted in Toyota utilizing the technology for the popular Prius design introduced to the United States in the summer of 2000. It was not until 1993 that the Department of Energy introduced the HEV program which consisted of three of the largest auto brokers partnering together to produce HEV’s available to the public by early 2000. Every car manufacturer has now produced a hybrid vehicle to meet the requirements of consumers in today’s market.
Car manufacturers have increased production of hybrid vehicles over recent years due to higher demands by the public. Furthermore, rental car agencies want to contribute to the environmental factors and fuel efficiency because of gas costs rising. “From an environmental standpoint hybrids use less fuel than more traditional vehicles and put less of a strain on the environment” (eHow, 1999-2010). The production of hybrid vehicles produces just as much waste as a traditional vehicle would. Hybrid cars run off electricity and fuel; therefore, the power plants that have to produce may emit pollutants unless the electricity is obtained from nuclear, solar, hydro, or wind powered hybrid vehicles.
The production process of hybrid vehicles creates large amounts of carbon dioxide that is emitted into the environment. The overall maintenance waste is minimal and cost effective. Hybrid vehicles, in fact, do not have a traditional braking system we are used to; slowing and stopping is handled by the same electrical engine that provides the power. The brakes can last over 100,000 miles without performing any brake service. Traditional gasoline powered vehicle’s batteries are highly toxic and contain lead. On the other hand, hybrid’s batteries contain nickel metal that is toxic, but not as toxic as lead. Batteries for traditional and hybrid vehicles must be properly disposed of to avoid toxic chemicals from...

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