Hybrid and Electric Cars are Better for the Environment?
Nowadays most people believe that hybrid and electric cars are better for the environment, but sadly you have been misinformed. What runs a hybrid car? That’s easy, a rechargeable battery. Some of you may ask how a battery can possibly be worse than burning fossil fuels and polluting our environment.
If you did not already know hybrid cars can be charged like a phone, an easy plug into the wall. Electricity would seem to be a much better alternative to gas, but in reality, “”45 % of electricity in the United States is generated by coal power plants… “”, which contributes to the fact that “”…plug-in hybrid[s]…[are] responsible for emitting up to 10 percent more greenhouse gases than a conventional gas-powered car…”” (Laue).
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I thought that the whole point of using electric cars was so lower the usage of fossil fuels, not increase them. In California we are more ecofriendly than most other places, about 80% of our power is produced by “”clean energy”” which includes solar and wind power (Laue). But on the other hand, there are also many places around the world whose power comes nearly entirely from coal power plants, like China, where about 60% of the electricity is reliant on coal as a fuel source (Ye and Lu).
Another major environmental hazard that comes with these cars are the batteries they run on. “”Batteries used in today’s conventional vehicles are lead-acid””, “”Lead is a known carcinogen and extremely harmful to the environment…”” (Zafar). If you did not already know, carcinogens are substances that are known to cause cancer in living things, for example, humans, and if the usage of these batteries continue to grow, more and more land will be contaminated with these chemicals. One other carcinogen you are all familiar with is tobacco smoke, which claims the lives of millions every year.
The only way that these hybrids and electric cars can become a better alternative to the average gas car is if a better type of battery is created and we see a push for the elimination of natural gases as a fuel source. Today theses electric and hybrid cars are still in search of a way to make an environmentally better and equally efficient battery, one of their more recent trials have been with lithium-ion batteries.
Although the lithium batteries seem to be a better choice environmentally they are significantly more expensive and not nearly as long lasting due to the extra protection needed to keep the battery in safe operating limits. The issue with managing the use of natural gasses one that we as a nation have been working on for the past decade. Scientists projected solar energy is to grow from 7 to 24% of electricity generation in 2050(Center for Climate and Energy Solutions).
The problem with this is that the use of fossil fuels and natural gasses has become such an enormous industry that shutting it down would have many negative economic effects. If we continue trashing our environment at the rate we are and adding on even more with the use of these cars, how is the world going to look before we are gone. In the future when you are going to buy a car for yourself just take a moment to think what is really going to be worse for the environment.