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Hybrid versus Conventional Vehicles
The car industry has undergone significant transformations since it started in the late 19
century. Most of the changes that have occurred focus on improving the overall engine
performance, reducing fuel consumption, and increasing durability. In recent decades, car
manufacturers started developing electric and hybrid cars as a way of reducing dependence on
fossil fuels. Such vehicles are also meant to reduce emissions, which cause global warming.
Although they reduce emissions and reliance on fossil fuels, hybrid cars are practically
inappropriate for transport. Because conventional cars outperform comparable hybrid cars, they
are the most appropriate vehicles for transport.
Conventional cars are appropriate because of high output power of their engines. Internal
combustion engines are far more reliable than electric motors, which contribute a significant
portion of the power of hybrid cars. It is also possible to accelerate and achieve optimal speed
with conventional cars compared to hybrid vehicles, which never achieve maximum speeds.
Conventional cars are cheaper to buy than hybrid cars. The low cost is achieved by the
technology as well as the materials used to make them. Conventional cars do not require
complex components, which increase the production costs. They also utilize cheaper materials.
Therefore, car manufacturers produce conventional vehicles at significantly lower costs
compared to hybrid cars. On the other hand, hybrid cars are more expensive than conventional
cars. Although they use little fuel, their upfront costs are far higher than what consumers can Surname 2
save on fuel. It can take up to 10 years or more for hybrid consumers to save on the costs of fuel
in comparison to conventional car users (Bunkley).
Conventional cars are cheap to maintain (Fortenbaugh 2). Refueling them is cheap
because of the availability of fuel stations at convenient places. The refueling process also takes
a short period because it only involves the addition of fuel. It is not like recharging the batteries
of electric vehicles, which take some hours to be fully charged. Although hybrid cars recharge
their batteries, additional external source of power is necessary because the inbuilt recharge
system does not fully restore the batteries’ capacity.
Conventional cars are more economical to produce than comparable hybrid vehicles. The
nature and quantity of materials needed to produce a conventional car are much less than what is
needed to make a similar hybrid model. In addition, the production process of hybrid cars is
energy intensive, making them more expensive than conventional models. The energy-intensive
process also increases pollutants in the air (Fortenbaugh 1). Thus, hybrid models contribute more
to the depletion of resources than conventional cars.
Conventional cars are more environmental friendly in some places than hybrid cars.
Hybrid vehicles are usually considered more environmental friendly than conventional cars.
However, this might not always be true. Non-conventional vehicles produce more pollutants than
conventional cars in their entire lives. Most of the emissions occur at the factory or during the
disposal of worn-out batteries. The batteries are made using toxic substances, which pollute the
environment. In addition, if the electricity used to recharge the batteries originates from fossil
fuels, hybrid cars would contribute to environmental pollution. Thus, the emissions from hybrid
vehicles are shifted away from the road (Hawkins, Singh, Majeau-Bettez, & Stromman 61). Surname 3
Conventional cars are appropriate because they last longer than hybrid vehicles. Most
manufacturers use very light materials to make hybrid cars in order to reduce the weight.
However, the use of light materials comes at another price; the vehicle wears out easily. On the
other hand, conventional car makers use strong materials, particularly steel, for the frames
(Fortenbaugh 1). Steel is appropriate because the engine can sufficiently powerful to bear
additional weight. Thus, conventional cars last longer than hybrid cars.
Hybrid cars are inappropriate because of their high purchase prices. The prices exceed
those of similar conventional models in terms of thousands of dollars. Although there are federal
tax credits for the buyers, not all consumers benefit from the incentive. The federal tax benefit is
subject to the number of vehicles sold by the manufacturer, which is limited to 60,000. When a
car maker reaches this limit, such benefits decrease with time until they fade completely.
Therefore, the tax benefit is just a temporary measure that does not practically reduce the cost of
hybrid cars for all consumers. Apart from the tax incentives, hybrid cars might appear cheaper
because they consume less fuel. For instance, a Toyota Prius consumes 5L/100 km. A
comparable model consumes 8L/100 km. Although the user saves an average of 3L/100 km, it is
nowhere near its purchase price (Malpress & Buttsworth).
Hybrid cars are not suitable because they have low output power. Since they have
significantly small gasoline engine capacities, hybrid cars are not built for high speed. Although
they are relatively economical in fuel consumption, hybrid cars are inefficient in terms of
mileage and time. For instance, it is impossible for an individual using a hybrid car to cover a
long distance within a short period. Covering long distances also implies that a hybrid car user
would have to rely almost entirely on the gasoline engine, which is not built for sustained power
output (Malpress & Buttsworth). Surname 4
Hybrid cars are inappropriate because they have high maintenance cost (Bunkley). Such
vehicles have complex double combustion systems, which most mechanics do not fully
understand. Thus, in the case of breakdown, the costs of repair would be significantly higher than
that of comparable traditional cars. In addition, the tires and brakes need frequent replacement
because the car’s weight makes them wear out rapidly.
Hybrid cars are unsuitable because they are delicate compared to conventional cars.
Manufacturers use very light materials such as aluminum for the frames in order to reduce the
vehicle’s weight. However, the light materials compromise the car’s strength. Thus, hybrid cars
do not withstand rough roads that comparable conventional cars can endure. Therefore, hybrid
cars require extra care when handling, which can be avoided by using conventional cars. The
extraction of aluminum is also an energy-intensive process (Fortenbaugh 1).
In conclusion, conventional cars are more suitable for transport than comparable hybrid
models. First, conventional cars have high performance engines, which increase their efficiency.
Second, the upfront costs of conventional cars are significantly lower than that of comparable
hybrid models. Third, they are relatively cheap to maintain because they use simplified designs.
In addition, conventional cars are economical to produce. Moreover, they are environmental
friendly particularly in places where electricity is generated using fossil fuels. Lastly,
conventional vehicles last longer than comparable hybrid models. Therefore, conventional cars
are the most appropriate vehicles for transport. They cannot be replaced by hybrid cars, which
are inefficient because of the way they are designed. Surname 5
Bunkley, Nick. “Payoff for Efficient Cars Takes Years.” New York Times. 4 April 2012. Web. 21
November 2014. < ;.
Fortenbaugh, Colten. ““Hybrid Cars”: Not So Environmentally Friendly.” N.p., n.d. Web. 21
November 2014. < ;.
Hawkins, R. Troy, Singh, Bhawna, Majeau-Bettez, Guillaume, and Stromman A. Hammer.
“Comparative Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Conventional and Electric
Vehicles.” Journal of Industrial Ecology. 17.1 (2012): 53-64. Web. 21 November 2014.
Malpress, Ray and Buttsworth, David. “Internal Combustion Engines: A role to fill for transport
in an energy conscious environment.” N.p., 12 November 2010. Web. 21 November
2014. < ;. ...
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- Summer '14
- Internal combustion engine, hybrid car, hybrid cars