Every car that is promoted as “eco-friendly” has its eco ups and downs. Though they use less gas, Hybrids still do need it. Furthermore, critics of hybrid cars claim that since manufacturers require rare earth minerals to make parts of the cars’ motor and battery, they’re not sustainable nor as ecologically friendly as claimed. There are of course cars that run on biofuels, but then one has to consider the size of the land being used to grow fuel rather than food. In regard to electric cars (which most people probably can’t afford right now anyway), if one is charging his/her car with electricity that’s generated from a coal station, that’s not environmentally friendly.
Hybrids are not always the most eco-friendly car but nor could they ever be called environmentally destructive. Originally, when hybrids first came out they were smaller and ran more efficiently than non-hybrid vehicles but nowadays hybrids are just the next ‘hot’ thing and are not necessarily all that green. When you throw in the amount of cash these cars will run you, you’ll be seeing more green in bills than anything else.
That being said, hybrids are still new and as americalibra said the technology is still in the formative stages (relatively speaking). That doesn’t mean it will be new forever and just as with everything else, the technology will get perfected in time; meaning the inefficiencies in constructing these cars won’t be there forever. Furthermore, hybrid cars are an investment in the future of green vehicle technology. This type of technology could lead to a greener type of transportation vehicle in the future, stemming from the start of hybrids.
Consumers should be weary of gas mileage though when purchasing a hybrid. As gas prices continue to climb hybrid drivers could be paying just as much as their non-hybrid counterparts at the pump. But, and there’s always a but, a hybrid will always produce lower emissions than it’s non-hybrid equivalent.
Unfortunately, this topic is not clear cut yet as many factors that play a role in determining greenness are still changing.
I think this question depends on how much you drive and where you live. Depending on where you get your electricity from, charging an electric car with solar or nuclear energy would be much more environmentally friendly than driving a hybrid. However, like americalibre mentioned, if your power comes from a coal-run power plant, then electric cars probably would still pollute the environment a bit.
In the end, electric cars are going to be the better “green” choice. I found an article explaining why they are better, and what power plants would do to meet the demands of these cars. Even though this article is dated a few years ago, I’m sure some of the statistics aren’t too far off.
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