What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Series Hybrid Cars?

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1. What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Series Hybrid Cars? Of the four dominant greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide is the largest contributor. Its primary source…
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  • 1. What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Series Hybrid Cars? Of the four dominant greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide is the largest contributor. Its primary source is fossil fuels. Fossil fuel combustion from transportation accounted for just over 30 percent of the total carbon dioxide emissions. Hybrid cars offer one solution toward curbing the emissions that include other gases, including nitrous oxide and methane. Series hybrid cars are designed to run primarily on battery and also include a petrol or diesel generator to keep it charged. There are pros and cons with the design and environmental impacts of these vehicles. Reduced Emissions The major benefit of series hybrid designs is a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. A gasoline- powered vehicle emits approximately 2.4 kg of carbon dioxide per gallon, estimates the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Diesel-powered vehicles are slightly higher at 2.77 kg. A hybrid car, on the other hand, can get twice the mileage on a gallon of fuel. This means less greenhouse gas emissions and less of an impact on
  • 2. air pollution. Upfront Cost and Expenses One of the main disadvantages of the series hybrid designs is the costs of the final product. The system includes a more complex engine in order to recharge the bigger battery. They also use electric transmission versus the mechanical transmission of gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles. For the consumer, this can translate into expensive repair costs down the line should something go wrong with the car. There is also the re-sale value to consider. If the engine or battery fails post- warranty, replacement is very costly. It can make the re-sale value of a hybrid considerably lower than a gasoline-powered vehicle. The cost factor can end up being a major barrier to public acceptance of these vehicles. Fuel Efficiency While the upfront cost is more, series hybrid cars offer savings from greater fuel efficiency. This amount can be significant, depending upon the cost of fuel. The fuel efficiency for many 2012 and 2013 models exceeds 30 miles-per-gallon (mpg), with some models approaching 50 mpg. With high gas prices, this factor can make your choice of a hybrid vehicle an economically sound purchase. A series hybrid vehicle performs best during stop-and-go traffic, which makes it a good choice for a city dweller. Gas Tax An unintended consequence of series hybrid designs is their impact on gasoline tax collection. With the consumer needing to fill up less often, city and state governments miss out on the revenue that gasoline taxes provide. Since these monies fund road projects, governments must look for other ways to re-coup this lost source of tax revenue. Some states, such as Minnesota, have proposed using GPS devices attached to vehicles in order to record mileage for taxes. However, this option raises privacy concerns. The series hybrid vehicles help solve some pressing environmental concerns, yet they also raise valid questions regarding their economic impacts.
  • 3. Sources: Hybrid Center. (n.d.) Hybrids Under the Hood (part 2). Retrieved from http://www.hybridcenter.org U.S. Department of Energy. (2012). New and Upcoming Hybrids. Retrieved from http://www.fueleconomy.gov U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2012). 2010 U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report - Executive Summary. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (n.d.). Direct Emissions from Mobile Combustion Sources. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. (2011). Green Vehicles. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov
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