Energy and Hybrid Cars Essay

1189 Words 5 Pages
Energy and Hybrid Cars


As the cost of oil prices rise, consumers are becoming more aware of the gas prices as they fill their cars. For many commuters, walking and biking are not an option to and from large cities and public transportation continues to leave something to be desired. Although most people are not concerned with the rapidly depleting oil supplies around the world, they are feeling the pinch at the pump. This brings the attention to the possibility of hybrid cars, with their claims of superior gas mileage. But what is a hybrid car and does it serve as a possible solution to decrease our oil consumption?

Combining gasoline and electricity, car makers have designed a hybrid automobile, utilizing the basic
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The battery serves as an energy storage device and the electric motor draw energy from the batteries while also putting energy into them. Finally, the cars contain a transmission, which remains very similar to those in traditional cars1. But the question remains, how does this new complex system help the environment?

The hybrid car was created not only to improve mileage, a benefit for consumers who dreaded the weekly trip to the pump, but also to reduce emissions from the tailpipe. Both these goals help the environment, as decreasing emissions should reduce the risk of eminent global warming, and improved mileage means less oil would be consumed by the cars. In normal automobile, 13% of the energy in the gasoline is actually used to move the vehicle2. The major losses in energy efficiency come from acceleration, aerodynamic drag, and rolling resistance. Making a high strength lightweight material reduces the overall mass of the material and hence reduces the energy needed for acceleration. Smoother shaped vehicles dramatically reduce drag and better tire designs cut the rolling distance of the vehicle2. But these are just basic improvements to be made to the generic automobile to increase efficiency.

The basic idea behind the hybrid car involves utilizing a smaller, more efficient engine. A bigger engine, while able to reach high speeds quickly, remains pointless for typical driving and…