Are Eco-Friendly Cars Really That Good for the Environment?
Eco-friendly vehicles are becoming a major investment opportunity in the U.S. and European transportation markets. The popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles can be attributed to the claim and fact that they are beneficial to the environment.
And while that may make sense to most, it’s important to keep in mind that some of the impact from owning an eco-friendly vehicle is directly affected by external factors, like the city you live in. Here are some facts about eco-friendly vehicles and how they affect the environment.
Hybrid versus Electric
Cars that are purely electric have the greatest potential to have a positive impact on the environment. They are powered by batteries, and most can be charged by plugging them into an electrical outlet. This means that any source that produces electricity, from power plants to solar panels, can be used to charge up a vehicle’s battery.
Hybrid cars use a traditional fuel-based engine along with a secondary engine, which is usually electric or hydrogen based. This second engine kicks in to assist the gasoline engine, increasing fuel efficiency.
The fossil fuels burned in traditional engines generate harmful gases that build up in our atmosphere. Electric cars don’t produce any waste and their growing popularity results in a decrease in the amount of air pollution that's being produced.
Hybrid cars still produce toxic exhaust fumes, but their secondary engine allows them to produce less than traditional engines. In addition, a hybrid car may be modified to use an alternative fuel instead of gasoline, such as ethanol and biodiesel. Using these has the potential to decrease vehicle emissions by as much as 97 percent.
Less Fuel Consumption
Our planet’s fossil fuel supplies are not unlimited. Eventually, reserves will be used up and alternative fuel sources will no longer be an option. Electric cars use no gas at all, which means you save money that would be spent on gas. But, you also don’t need to worry about consuming a part of a limited fuel supply. Hybrid cars are still dependent on gas, but use much less and therefore have less of an impact on supply.
A hybrid that has been converted to run on ethanol or biodiesel has no impact on the gasoline supply. Not only that, but they can be produced from plants, which can be grown industrially to produce more. This means that, unlike oil, supplies of these fuels are not limited and will not run out. This, coupled with the low emissions caused by these fuels, makes them ideal for use in eco-friendly cars. An increase in popularity in biofuels could lead to a cleaner future that is less taxing on oil supplies.
An eco-friendly vehicle can have a great impact on the environment, depending on where you live. Some people remain skeptical of how much they really help the environment, but this may be caused by the fact that eco-friendly vehicles have only recently become mainstream products.
Hybrid and electric vehicles have been proven to reduce harmful emissions in the environment, so it’s no surprise that they’re getting so much attention. Despite their minor inconsistencies, eco-friendly vehicles are more environmentally efficient than their gasoline-guzzling counterparts.