In the early days, most cars were solely powered by fuel combustion engines alone. Such vehicles did not have much power as the new hybrid engines of nowadays. The fuel engines also produced large quantities of harmful gases. With the current debate on environmental issues, car manufacturers have resulted to developing more energy efficient vehicles that will produce equal or more power as earlier engines but with less harmful effects. The idea of developing hybrid car engines was borne from the successful introduction of hybrid powertrains.
These hybrid powertrains were found more fuel efficient and this triggered car manufacturers to adopting the technology to the car industry (Haan et al, 2006). Hybrid cars are those cars whose engines use more than one power sources. Much criticism as well as commendation of these hybrid cars has been witnessed. The main issues of contention are the fuel efficiency of the hybrid vehicles over other engine cars and the effect of the hybrid cars on the economy. Some authors have argued that as much as hybrid vehicles lead to fuel efficiency, there are counter effects that negate any gains made.
Studies have been done to quantify these factors to authenticate the allegations and interesting findings have come up. () In a study by Haan and others, they aimed at assessing the extent to which hybrid cars had changed peoples choice of buying cars. It had been argued that the introduction of hybrid cars led to people abandoning the fuel efficient vehicles they used earlier in favour of hybrid cars. The study was an assessment of the various ways that policy makers in different countries intended to address issues of pollution by cars.
Several measures had been proposed and they centered on reducing the demand for cars, reducing energy consumption per vehicle per distance in kilometers and reduction of carbon emissions (Haan, 1082). Hybrid cars were considered energy efficient and that fewer pollutants were released (http://www. activehybrid. com). It was, however, generally argued that the hybrid cars had other counter effects. The study by Haan sought to quantify this. This suggests that there was an argument that hybrid cars, for some reason, were bought as additional cars thus increasing the number of cars owned by a household.
Governments aim at reducing number of cars per household and hybrid cars worked against this principle. Following this argument, there was a general view that the lesser taxes charged on hybrid cars had led to the influx of the cars into the markets. (http://www. activehybrid. com/). The results of the study indicate that hybrid cars indeed reduce emissions. If a government is to effectively reduce the amount of emissions from the motor industry, hybrid cars have to be adopted. Policy should, therefore, allow more hybrid cars and to encourage this, tax reductions on hybrid cars should be sustained.
The study further identified that hybrid cars do not increase the number of cars per household. The increment that was recorded was due to other factors unassociated with hybrid cars themselves. The findings of this study quell fears that hybrid cars have an overall effect that harm the economy (http://www. activehybrid. com/Why-Hybrids-are-the-Vehicles-of-Choice-these-days. html). Authors expressed that it was insufficient to evaluate a vehicles pollution level without considering other factors involved in the vehicles life cycle.
Authors expressed a need of focusing not only on the output emission levels of the final product but also on the processes involved in developing these cars. Economic factors had to be considered to justify the efficiency of any type of car engine including hybrid. The cost aspect also had to be checked, to assess the economic viability of the car engines, the prices of having batteries was analyzed, fuel costs also, and driving range (Granovskii, 1186). Granovskii and others carried out a study to assess the environmental factors.
The study sought to quantity the amounts of greenhouse gases related by each of the types of engines considered. The various other pollutants emitted in the manufacture and repair of batteries were also analyzed. The results of this study show that in comparison with the electric car, hybrid car was superior in car emission produced. More pollutants were released. The prices of electric cars were less than those of hybrid cars. There results suggest that if electric power would be generated and conserved in the car engines, the gains from such an electric engine would be more than that from hybrid cars.
However, the study found that no car engine was superior to all other on all fronts. On every aspect the different cars engines should advantages over others. The hydrogen engine, though, did not have any advantage over other engine types except that it had least pollution. The study further indicated that when natural gases are used for generation of electricity in an engine, the hybrid is better than other engine types (Anderson). Manufacturers had further developed intelligent technology that enabled cars to sense their environments and adjust their fuel consumption levels.
The developers of this technology strongly believed that this technology was the most fuel efficient that should be adopted to replace the hybrid cars. The new technology engine was proposed as fuel saving and less pollutant than all other engine types. A review of literature in a study done by Manzie and others reveal that hybrid cars had high initial costs that dispelled many customers from buying them. Hybrid engines had been found to be more fuel efficient in trains and this technology was extended to the cars.
The study by Manzie focused on identifying any benefits realized from the use of hybrid and communication technologies in fuel economy. A situation model was used in evaluation of the fuel economy of combining these two technologies. The study was carried out in Australia. The hybrid model used in this consisted of the hybrid electric vehicle. The speed of the vehicle was evaluated when the technologies are combined. Several control procedures were put to ensure the result are not skewed to any side (http://www. hybrid-vehicles. net/).
The results of the study indicate that there were significant improvements in fuel economizing. Less fuel was consumed by the hybrid vehicles. Telematics, which combine intelligent capabilities in a car, were found to be cost effective and fuel efficient. The results also indicate that there may be challenges in adopting the new telematics technology because it affects overtaking between intelligent and unintelligent cars. The study indicated that hybrid systems alone consumed less fuel. A combination of hybrid and telematics technology to create an intelligent hybrid car led to more improvements in fuel consumption.
There are benefits that are associated with the hybrid cars. Studies have shown that these cars consume less fuel, release fewer pollutants and have more power. Today the hybrid model car engines are being improved their capabilities. Hybrid cars are environmental friend. These cars are also cheap enabling people to acquire vehicles fast and save money to do other important things. The hybrid cars have now found their way into United States military operations (Mehney). It is evident from the above analysis that hybrid vehicles consume less energy than combustion engines.
The evidence is not only in theory but has been supported by empirical evidence. The several control measures applied in each study ensure that the results are a true representation of the actual situation. Hybrid cars have all evidently been found to release fewer pollutants into the atmosphere. In fact, this is the technology that every country serious on reducing pollution should emphasize on. The criticism of the hybrid cars has not presented empirical evidence to authenticate allegations. Most of these allegations are generalizations.
It seems that the hybrid technology poses a threat to some manufacturers and that is why they resist it. The technology, however, has revealed its evidence and we can go by it. Manufacturers need to focus on building energy efficient cars such as the hybrid ones.
Works Cited Granovskii, Mikhail. , Dincer, Ibrahim and Marc A. Rosen. Economic and environmental comparison of conventional, hybrid, electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles Journal of Power Sources. Volume 159, 2, (2006): 1186-1193. Haan, Peter. , Peters, Anja and Scholz W.
Roland. The Automobile Industry & Sustainability Journal of Cleaner Production. Volume 15, 11-12, (2006): 1076-1084. Hybrid cars are an excellent choice! 2007 Hybrid Cars Blog 15 August 2007
Public Affairs Officer Army Unveils First Hybrid-Electric Propulsion System for New Combat Vehicles, Aug 15, 2007. US Army. 15 August 2007