As people around the world are increasingly conscious of how their actions impact the environment, the rise in hybrid vehicles on the roads can be observed. Hybrid cars are seen as greener as they utilise both petrol and an electric motor to operate in an efficient manner.
However, is the hype around hybrid cars really all that positive?
How Hybrid Cars Work
Image Source: AutoDeals.PkWith the two sources that enable the vehicle to move, gasoline engine and electric motor, the system recaptures energy via regenerative braking. The electric motor is used at low speeds while the combustion engine gets engaged when your speed picks up.
The end result? Less gasoline is burned, which directly translates to fuel economy and wallet savings as less frequent visits to the petrol station is required.
Although the high-voltage battery pack employed in the vehicle is replenished by capturing energy from deceleration, the gasoline engine is also used to maintain and charge the battery.
Advantages Of Hybrid Cars
Widely known by many that hybrid cars are “better for the environment”, which is indeed one of the few benefits of a hybrid, hybrid cars are cleaner due to lesser fuel usage which means lesser emissions emitted.
Hybrid cars are also cheaper than plug-in hybrids and they recharge as you drive, which garners you the convenience than having to worry about stopping over just to have it recharged. Rebates for owning a hybrid vehicle are also available while you enjoy a quiet, comfortable drive without a gas engine running.
Are Hybrid Cars Still Good?
Though hybrid cars are greener than conventional cars that run on gasoline engines, they are not as friendly for the environment than electric and plug-in hybrid cars. Ironically, the batteries that are manufactured and later disposed off for these green vehicles result in detrimental impacts on the environment.
The mining of lithium and nickel to produce hybrid vehicles’ lithium-ion and nickel batteries lead to soil, air and water pollution in different parts of the world where production happens. To have the batteries disposed off responsibly, battery-makers have to fork out money to have them collected, treated before recycling and disposal can take place.
Furthermore, according to The New York Times, the risk of cancer increases with extended exposure to the strong electromagnetic fields (EMF). The EMF radiation mainly comes from the batteries which are fitted below the passenger seats near the driver, while other sources of EMF can include the electric engine, computer system, built-in GPS, vehicle switches such as hazard lights and onboard Wi-Fi.
It definitely does not do good for drivers and passengers, and especially so for private hires and drivers who sit for long hours in their vehicle.
Additionally, owning a hybrid car may be more costly in monetary means. Given the technology employed in hybrid vehicles, it is no surprise that these green vehicles cost more than our usual gasoline running ones. A simple comparison between a hybrid and a conventional gasoline car amounts to tens of thousands of dollars.
As with the maintenance and repairs that come with hybrid cars, batteries typically have to be changed out every 5 to 6 years, even though some carmakers claim them to last up to 10 years. Unfortunately, the battery change and repairs that are required are expensive, especially with two engines present which make things a little more tricky.
The competition present in the automotive world guarantees continual improvements which can allow us to see a more positive green future.
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