BY JELANI DANIEL
Environmental enthusiasts are boasting about green alternatives to gas-powered vehicles. What are the pros and cons of each and are they suitable for your lifestyle? Hybrid technology is the gap between fully electric and fully fueled car models. Is a hybrid model suitable for you and your lifestyle?
A hybrid is a cross-over between gas guzzling to fully electric vehicles. They utilize both a gas motor and a battery allowing for parallel modes (one or the other) as well as pure hybrid. A purely hybrid model allows different parts of the car to utilize battery functions while running on gas. For example, the wheels may use electricity while the motor uses fuel.
Some models allow for the car to charge as it is driven, giving the driver peace of mind since charging stations are still fairly rare in Ontario.
THE BENEFITS OF HYBRID TECHNOLOGY:
Although hybrid technology is fairly dated in comparison to electric vehicles, consumers are still quite new to the hybrid model. Public transit plays a large part in hybrid technology, improving city-wide environmental impacts and setting a positive example for drivers.
The biggest benefit of a hybrid car lies in the carbon footprint of the driver. Although there is gasoline consumption, the overall consumption is cut back due to the partial usage of gasoline.
Another very large benefit for consumers is that hybrid technology acts as a ‘training wheel’ of sorts for drivers who are on the fence between gasoline and electric powered cars. Being stranded without a charging station can be of definite concern and hurting the environment can be another; hybrid is the middle-ground.
The most concrete setback for a hybrid driver is that there is still an impact on the environment through the use of gasoline. Although the carbon footprint is lower, an electric car would have none.
Tesla models that are completely electric act as an advancement to green technology in car manufacturing. They have zero emissions but require charging at pit stops or within one’s garage. Charging may be a source of frustration for many drivers, but innovations to battery power is on the horizon for electric models, saving drivers pit stops and fuel costs.
Overall, there are benefits to both hybrid and electric models. The high cost and possible frustration of electric vehicles may defer drivers, while the environmental impacts of gasoline dependent vehicles may harm future generations. With both issues present, hybrid models are a prominently sound solution to lower one’s carbon footprint.