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Hybrid Cars

Essay by   •  February 20, 2011  •  Research Paper  •  1,780 Words (8 Pages)  •  1,715 Views

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Field Experience Report

Hybrid Cars

The world population is increasing at a massive rate and with the increase in population growth more space is needed for building houses, roads, schools, hospitals, etc.

“The world's population will rise from 6.5 billion to 9.1 billion by 2050, according to a United Nations survey released Thursday. Much of the growth will take place in the least-developed countries, where a high rate of mortality is outweighed by an even higher rate of fertility. Their current collective population of 800 million is projected to swell to 1.7 billion in 2050.” (Wald)

Human population growth can be seen as having a major impact on the environment as human activities are increasing, pollution is increasing and habitats of various living organisms are being destroyed. The worlds natural resources are being used at a much faster rate and it won’t be long before they are diminished. There is growing concerns from various groups and organizations on the impact to the environment and the living organisms and the amount pollutants produced by human activities.

Global warming is one of the current environmental problems facing us today. Global warming is increase in the earth’s average temperature caused by greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and fluorocarbons. The greenhouse gasses trap the sun’s light within the earth’s atmosphere and causes an increase in the earth’s average temperature. Global warming causes the melting of glaciers and polar ice bergs leading to an increase in sea levels, severe floods and droughts

Another current environmental problem is the depletion of the ozone layer. Ozone layer in the earth’s atmosphere has a high concentration of Ozone (O3) and protects the earth from sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays

“The synthetic chemicals called chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) … are useful and completely non-toxic substances. They get their bad name because they are ozone-eaters (properly called ozone-depleting substances). CFCs are not the only ozone-depleting substances, but they are the most abundant. Some ozone-depleting substances are naturally occurring compounds. Ozone-depleting substances are long-lived because it takes them several years to drift up into the stratosphere. When they arrive, they are broken apart by exposure to ultraviolet radiation and that releases the chlorine atoms. These are the real ozone-killers. The chlorine atoms react with ozone, to form oxygen and chlorine monoxide.” (Australian Academy of Science)

Some of the consequences of depletion of the ozone layer directly towards humans are: skin cancer and cataracts, also reduction in the ability of people’s immune systems to respond to illnesses. In addition, most of the marine food chains are negatively affected, leading to increased atmospheric carbon dioxide and global warming.

Air pollution is another major problem that is a result of human activities. Burning of fossil fuels such as gasoline causes chemicals and particulate matter to be released into the atmosphere thus causing air pollution. A number of substances contribute to air pollution, most common of which contain carbon, sulfur and nitrogen. They have a negative impact on the health of all people, especially those with allergic and respiratory conditions, such as asthma, hay fever and sinusitis and those with respiratory conditions. The exhausts of cars and industries, which can also form smog, emit these substances. Smog causes acid rain that affects few species that are incapable of surviving after being exposed to it.

The argument thus arises what needs to be done to reduce and eliminate the environment issues mentioned above. We have to start taking precautions so that we do not further damage our environment. We have to start conserving and also learn and teach others of the value of our environment. Referring to the city of Calgary in Canada the major cause of air pollution is due to the emission from cars.

“The 2007 Civic Census results for the period from April 2006 to April 2007, shows that Calgary's population continues to increase, although at a slightly slower pace than last year's record results. Calgary's population grew from 991,759 in April 2006 to 1,019,942 in April 2007, an increase of 28,183. (2007 Census Results)

The above census shows the alarming growth population rate of the city of Calgary. With increasing population, there is also an increase in the number of automobiles in the city which in tend contribute more to pollution. Some of the hazardous gases emitted in the atmosphere include carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, hydro carbons and other particles.

“Our cars have an impact on the environment in terms of air quality, greenhouse gases, ozone depletion, water quality, use of natural resources and noise. (My Car)

Gasoline powered vehicles emit chemical gases which is harmful to the environment and as the population increases, there are more chances of people buying fuel cars and polluting our environment. Something has to be done in order to decrease the amount of emission from the fuel cars so that the environment can be protected. Harmful toxins that affect our health and our environment need to be reduced or completely eliminated.

Innovation and technology have lead to the introduction of hybrid cars. A hybrid car is the one that combines more than one form of power to drive the vehicle. The power sources are a gasoline engine and a battery that runs an electric motor. Combining these two power sources results in a higher fuel economy and less exhaust pipe emissions. (Hybrid Electric and Fuel Cell Vehicles)

Mr. Lesley Fong, Product Advisor at one of the local dealers (Stampede Toyota) in Calgary was really helpful in providing me with information about hybrid cars. He showed me Toyota Prius, mentioned some of its features and explained how the hybrid cars worked. Some of the features included: cruise control, overhead console box, retained accessory power, accessory power outlet, keyless entry (card type), key lockout protection, push button start, multi-information display, and electronic shift lever. He also told me that the car is exceptionally fuel efficient and produces up to 70% fewer emissions. The car simply looked well designed and in excellent condition.

Mr.Fong explained me that the new Prius power train was controlled by a sophisticated energy-splitting device that allowed the powerful VVT-I gas engine and the zero-emissions electric motor to work either independently or together. He said, at the start-up

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