Drive Green: How Hybrids and EVs Affect the Environment

Rising in popularity, hybrids and electric vehicles fit in with the consumer fad of increasing sustainability. It’s no secret that vehicles have greatly contributed to the Earth’s pollution. Cars have contributed about 75% of the Earth’s total carbon monoxide pollutants and about one-third of total air pollution. EVs and hybrids are a step into a future of reduced pollution, and a healthier living environment for all of us living here.

First, we’ll talk about the difference between a hybrid and an EV. An EV is 100% powered by electricity, meaning that the vehicle itself emits no pollutants or harmful emissions into the environment. Hybrids, on the other hand, are partially powered by electricity and partially powered by a conventional gasoline-powered engine. Both types of vehicle are helping provide solutions to two of our environmental needs: reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions and reducing air pollution in city centers.

While hybrids aren’t completely pollutant-free, regular gasoline-powered engine vehicles are producing at least 50% more pollutants and emissions than hybrids and EVs. There has been heavy discussion about whether or not electric-powered vehicles make a difference in emissions because of the methods used to produce the electric energy the cars are using to travel. While some EV users have their own sustainable energy sources at home for powering their vehicles, most EV owners are using public charging stations that get their energy from a plant that creates it by burning coal or natural gas, which is also polluting the air. However, some stations are retrieving energy from wind, or geothermal plants that produce no global warming emissions. For now, it really depends on the area where the electricity comes from, but studies have shown that in the U.S EVs and hybrids produce less harmful global warming emissions than even the worst type of fossil fuel plants creating the energy used to charge the cars; oil plants.

Overall, EVs and hybrids are a step in the green direction. Consumers are becoming more aware of the impacts they have on the environment, and some EV owners have continued their effort to reduce their carbon footprint by purchasing and building their own renewable energy sources at home. And overall, even including the emissions produced by electricity plants providing them energy, EVs and Hybrids are in fact reducing the CO2 emissions that are threatening our environment and contributing to global warming. As we continue pushing for and supporting a greener means of transportation, technology will continue to advance and we have the possibility of living in a clean world, free of car-created pollutants!

Written by Cardinal Plaza Shell

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