Luxuries Even For the Environmentalist

Satisfactory Essays
Luxuries Even For the Environmentalist

Imagine, instead ofbeing stuck in morning rush hour because you drive by yourself, youget to go in the HOV lanes simply because of the car you drive. This occurs within some states for those who own hybrids. Hybrids are the most practical vehicle for the majority of America ’s population because not only are they better for the environment but they also have almost all the features of luxury cars. Few individuals think of hybrid vehicles as a practical option when car shopping. With the combinedtechnology of electricity and gasoline, hybrid vehicles are more environmentally friendly then the standard gasoline driven car. However, most consumers worry more about their comforts than their effects on the environment, leading to disagreements on the best vehicle for the consumer’s needs. They argue that many luxuries are lost in the hybrids because hybrids are more expensive to manufacture, and are not as large as some conventional gas cars. This has changed though. Since hybridsbecame available there has been an increase in efficiencies, moreluxuriesand increased driver benefits.

When first designed, hybrid vehicles aimed toreduce fuel consumption by half ofalready high gas mileage vehicles. The hybrid’s historystarted off rocky because the electric batteries, generators, and motorshad losses of 15-25 percent in energy, causing it to be more desirable toroute as much of the engine power directly to the wheels (Cheng 114). Doing so, however, was not sufficient for power. Since 1975, five improvements were made that rendered itmore available to the public. These included decrease in electrical losses down to 2-4%, improved shapes to produce far higher energiesand powers, magnetic bearings, new turbines from other materials to increasethermal efficiencies, and small turbochargers for piston engines (Cheng 114). Together these improvements made the hybrid more aerodynamic,efficient and lower in cost to manufacture. In a recentstudy by W. Chenget al, the hybrid was compared to gas turbine-engine vehicles. Their results showed that the hybrid engine would producevirtually no vehicle pollution during trips less than 30 minutes, and lessthan normal cars when trips were longer. The strongestcharacteristic of the hybrids is the higher gas mileage which allows it tobe more environmentally friendly and cost effective.
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