Electric Hybrid Cars vs. Gas Powered Term Paper

Pages: 9 (2618 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Topic: Transportation

Electronic/Hybrid Cars vs. Gas PCs

One of the most profound social questions of the modern day is the nature of the market addition on fossil fuel usage. Within the global economy the fossil fuel industry, and the worlds dependence on it has driven prices of fuel to enormous levels contributing to a global market situation where a very few hold a growing percentage of wealth and the rest must struggle to eek out an existence with what's left. "Today, more than half the world's population lives on less than $2 per day, and almost 1.1 billion people live in extreme poverty, defined as less than $1 per day."

Rice, 76) Though this may seem divergent of the topic at hand, which is global dependence on fossil fuel, the issues are interrelated.

One of the most logical arguments of the day indicts the fossil fuel interests, including those who buy and sell oil, as well as those who design build and create the items and products that utilize that oil as allowing personal greed to sway social responsibility. One of the most commonly cited reasons for this indictment is the repeated elimination of transportation alternatives that are less reliant upon fossil fuels. One example would be the elimination of most of the infrastructure of mass public transit in major cities in favor of personal automobiles, with an exponential growth rate thought to be progressive. "In pre-war 1910 there were fewer than a half-million automobiles in the United States. By 1920 this had risen more than sixteen-fold to 8. 1 million as the 'Tin Lizzie' started to come of age."

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Cudahy 152) There is significant evidence, in the form of court documented indictments and convictions against the automobile industry for conspirator campaigns to eliminate the mass transit system in many cities.

Motavalli 36) federal antitrust investigation resulted in both indictment and conspiracy convictions for GM executives, but destroying a public transportation network that would cost hundreds of billions of dollars to reproduce today cost the company only $5,000 in fines.

Motavalli 36)

Term Paper on Electric Hybrid Cars vs. Gas Powered Cars Assignment

Looking back many cities and towns now seeking to reduce pollution and fossil fuel dependence are kicking themselves in the backside for letting such a system be eliminated, in favor of the most polluting and wasteful, though practical invention in the world the personal automobile.

Another issue that is often cited, and will be the greater focus of this work is that the technologies needed to produce personal automobiles that are less fossil fuel dependant, have been in existence for a very long time but the combustion fossil fuel burning engine keeps winning the game. In viewing the fantastic documentary Who Killed the Electric Car? one sees the hypocrisy inherent in the system as many individuals blame industry greed for the virtual death of a very practical solution to fossil fuel dependence and pollution. Why the consumer asks was this vehicle that had been so frequently promised as the solution to all the problems that plague the modern world discarded like so much trash? (Paine Who Killed the Electric Car? 2006) Was it market demand? Was it marketing failure on the part of the producer and of coarse lastly was it an intentional conspiracy to retain the potential future profit that is available to the motor industry and the fuel industry, at the expense of the environment and human civilization in general?

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This work will address this question by first seeking answers to the most important question, if these technologies are available why are they being subverted? The work will then analyze the current research in alternative fuel vehicles, specifically addressing three types of vehicles, the electric car, the hybrid/electric/combustion car and lastly the combustion engine car. As this issue is timely and multifaceted this work will address modern technology, why it is not being implemented and briefly discuss alternative fuel cars that are not electric and therefore have an even lower carbon footprint. It is also important that this paper touch briefly on the issue of pollution, as it is a significant impetus for creating alternative fuel vehicles and promoting such technology and marketing it in such a manner that individual consumers will buy into it and build demand for it. The hypothesis being that the all electric vehicle is the best practical option for consumers to solve many current problems, as the infrastructure needed for the type of driving most people do is already in place.

Review of Literature:

About a trillium barrels worth of oil is still in the earths crust, which according to the fuel industry equates to about 100 trillion dollars worth of business yet to be done. The director of the controversial 2006 film Who Killed the Electric Car? Demonstrates the hypocrisy of the constant carroting of the electric car and alternative fuel vehicles as irreproachable and the he and many other believe this action on the part of the combined oil/automobile interests, "will go down as one of the biggest blunders in the history of the automotive industry." (Paine Who Killed the Electric Car? 2006) Starting from this point this work will look at the evidence that this subversion was deliberate and active. One way to do this is through seeking information about who funded the campaign to eliminate public support for and lobby against the EV1 (the GM electric car introduced in 1996). The evidence clearly links this smear campaign to the oil industry, and then goes further to introduce the fact that the auto industry, including even the makers of the car proceeded to bury the support for the cars by citing marketing difficulties as the reason they intended to scrap the car and work toward hybrid vehicle production.

Motavalli 36) while the auto industry seems to like alternative-fuel vehicles just fine as long as they're restricted to prototypes and displays at car shows, it's unclear that it's willing anytime soon to abandon the traditional gasoline-fueled internal-combustion engine. Like it or not, Big Oil has been the auto industry's waltz partner for the last 100 years, and there's no indication it's willing to enter another name on its dance card.

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Hybrid vehicle production though it is a far cry from zero emissions vehicles is a marriage of the interests of both big oil and the auto industry, as they seek to calm the public outcry on the limitations of alternative fuel research and development. Most believe that the industries are basically being dragged kicking and screaming away from the combustion engine and would rather see the zero emissions models remain as prototypes and car show vehicles.

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It is also very important to note that though electric cars cannot be considered truly emission free as they rely on electricity which is still traditionally supplied by the burning of fossil fuels. This is a commonly cited take on the situation, as contrary opinion against the implementation of such vehicles but it really doesn't hold weight.

It's certainly not hard to find support for the pollution-fighting qualities of electric cars. CARB, for instance, answers the frequently-cited assertion that EVs simply move the pollution from tailpipe to electric utility smokestack. While its true that no car is really "zero emissions," CARB admits," on a mile-for-mile basis, these power plant emissions [from EVs] are over 10 times lower than emissions from a conventional vehicle." CALSTART also contends that electric cars produce 97% fewer emissions than gasoline cars, and that their use in urban areas will reduce carbon monoxide emissions overall by 99%, hydrocarbons by 98% and nitrogen oxides by 92%. According to UCS, California would save $370 million in pollution control costs from the EVs that were introduced in just the first year of the state's program. And it adds that replacing a single gasoline-powered car with an EV would save $17,000 in pollution-related expenditures.

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The frequent lobbying by the auto and oil industries has indeed resulted in a significant loss, with regard to the public availability of alternative fuel vehicles and furtherance of alternative fuel technologies. In the film and subsequent interviews with its makers the fact that the companies that were making the vehicles really were no into it and marketed it accordingly. Dean Devlin (one of the films executive producers) speaking of his father's failed communications with GM about marketing the EV1 as fast, sexy and reliable stressed some of the reasons why they made the film in the first place, "He met with someone who worked in marketing at GM, and the guy opened a folder and said, what do you think of that ad? My father was like, it's brilliant, this is exactly what you should be doing. And the guy said, every time we show them an ad like this, they say no, just say it's electric, shrink the car as small as you can, and that's it." (Eaves All About EV article online) Those who have risen to the top by exploiting antiquated technology that hurts the environment, our current elected… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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