A DAY WITH A HYBRID
No one can say for certain what the destiny of the automobile will be, but one thing is for certain: hybrid and full electric automobiles are here to stay for the foreseeable future. We spend 24 hours with Porsche’s Panamera S E-Hybrid to get a taste of h
In light of available evidence, it is hard to argue against global warming. One of the direct contributors to this phenomenon is the increase in greenhouses gases trapped in the atmosphere. According to studies, in 2011 in the United States alone, over 6 billion metric tons of greenhouse gases in the form of carbon dioxide was released into the atmosphere, and that roughly 28% of this was caused by transportation in the form of cars, trucks, ships, planes, etc.
Today, the majority of cars are powered by internal combustion engines that run on gasoline and diesel. Although engines have become increasing efficient, these engines are innately inefficient. In fact, when an internal combustion engine burns fuel, only about 25% to 30% of the energy released is used to provide motive force, the rest is used to overcome friction, turbulence, power auxiliary components such as the oil and water pumps and also lost to the atmosphere as heat and noise.
Electric-powered cars can help our current predicament as electric motors are considerably more efficient in their use of stored energy and can effectively convert around 80% of stored energy (in the form of lithium ion batteries) into motive force. However, they are limited by current technologies. For example, electric cars still suffer from limited range and the time it takes to charge batteries are still miserably long. Additionally, there is a serious lack of infrastructure to support these types of cars to make them practical enough for mainstream adoption and widespread use.
As a result of the limitations of present electric car technologies, hybrid-powered cars are seen as the perfect solution to the environmental conundrums that we face. Because hybrid-powered cars typically rely on both an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors for propulsion, they offer the best of both worlds - the practicality of a traditional internal combustion engine car and the efficiency of electric cars.