Hybrid Vehicles: the Dark Side

Fuel efficiency, Chevrolet Volt, Electric vehicle

Hybrid Electric Vehicles
The Dark Side

John Orttenburger
Lake Superior State University
April 10, 2011

In the past decade, hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) have been making a big commotion with the innovative, gas saving technologies that accompany them. The illusion that HEVs are 100 percent environmentally friendly in all aspects also follows the HEV wave. Sadly the illusion often wins over unsuspecting customers the instant better gas mileage is offered. This review on the environmental impact of the hybrid electric vehicle observes the unseen sides of the automotive “green movement.” The piece compares how an ordinary gasoline vehicle (non-HEV) can achieve gas mileage that is just as good, if not better, than the more expensive hybrid option. This reality check on the newest technologies uproots what manufacturers do not want anyone to know or think about when buying a vehicle including: environmental pollution of the hybrid electric vehicle, non-HEV fuel economy, the lack of pay-back from owning an HEV, and how the HEV lacks the level of versatility required for many American families.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles
The Dark Side
Thesis: Hybrid Electric Vehicles should cease to be produced because of four main issues: environmental pollution has not reduced, better fuel economy can be achieved in non-hybrid vehicles, there is no payback in owning a hybrid, and hybrid vehicles do not possess the same versatility many American families need.

I. Environmental Pollution and the Hybrid Electric Vehicle A. Batteries contain Nickel, Lithium, and Lead
1. Mining these materials is hazardous, causes acid rain 2. Shipping these materials is costly and [the transportation vehicle] contributes to pollution B. Car accidents happen

3. Vehicular accidents happen all of the time, HEV batteries are prone to damage and can leak harmful materials (acids) into the environment....
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