Posted By RichC on April 10, 2006
All hybrid vehicles are green … right? — Obviously not … but that doesn’t stop marketeers from trying to make ‘hay’ by building and selling a hybrid vehicles that aren’t exactly green. The truth is that some hybrid vehicles are going to leave a ‘less than desirable’ footprint on our society and give a black-eye to those vehicles that are wisely using hybrid technology. I’ve attached a CNBC clip (below) that debates the merits of ‘hybrid’ technology. While I don’t agree with the ‘anti-hybrid’ opinion, we need to be aware that all hybrid vehicles are not ‘created’ equal. In fact, some hybrids, even if they improve fuel efficiency, might impact our environment more negatively than its simpler counterpart?
The debate as to what direction Americans, and the world, should be adopting in clean vehicles of the future continues to rage. There are those heavily invested in hybrid vehicles that are coupled to the ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) and continue to want to defend this leading ‘clean’ technology. There are others who believe improving the existing an far simpler single technology (one energy producer) vehicles like most of us now have is the best option in bridging the gap until a universally clean system is developed. Still other are advocates for rushing completely new technology into place; ones that are strictly plug in electric, use hydrogen or hydrogen based fuels cells who’s fuel is generated in a super clean way at a central power station. Still there are others who believe in modifying the fuels we use in existing technology, such as ethanol, biodiesel, liquefied petroleum gas or compressed natural gas. More than likely we’ll see a variety of these options in the next few years and they will continue to compete for consumers and the governments blessing as being the ‘best’ clean vehicle technology — but we all need to keep our eye on the big picture — ‘cradle to grave’ as it is often referred to.
I personally see our future moving toward the fuel cell option, but don’t see it anytime soon or as an all inclusive option. Just as a two seat sports car isn’t appropriate for moving freight across the country, a 2 seat fuel-celled carbon fiber passenger vehicle isn’t appropriate for every use. Therefore, I see this time of discovering better technology and fueling options as a good thing. As we continue to diversify our fuel choices, improve the efficiency of the ICEs, and adopt ways to ‘regenerate’ lost energy through hybrid technology and opt for renewable fuel options capable of fueling even the largest of commercial vehicles … man wins because the best choices should rise to the top.
The conversation this morning on the CNBC network brought a good debate to light. Most likely neither side had complete accuracy as to the ‘hybrid debate,’ but all that watch can certainly see that there is more to a ‘green car’ than adding an electric motor and calling it a hybrid. ‘Cradle to grave’ or ‘dust to dust’ impact has as much to do with making the hybrid ‘green’ as does how a company uses hybrid technology. It does seem that today we are seeing company jump into the hybrid arena with little effort to make the vehicle an efficient one. Buyer beware: “Just because it is a hybrid doesn’t always make it the best option.”