Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Cleanest Car Argument

This morning I was perusing Yahoo and came across a video released by Reuters that explains how Toyota, based out of Japan, is going to start introducing a plug in version of a Hybrid car within the next two years. I remember the old days of plug in vehicles and although they were cool I can’t help but think what the environmental impact of something like this might be, something that is purporting to help might just be hurting as well.

Before I go much further, please watch this video, it is only a minute and a half and will give more information as to the plans Toyota has. Its okay, I’ll wait.

Now that seems great right? Sure it does! Mass volume of Hybrids that run on charged batteries at affordable prices is a great idea! Especially considering they are going to start by introducing these vehicles into the market through local governmental officials being the first to test drive them.

But here in lies the potential snag. The manufacture of more batteries (the reason for the two year wait period) plus the fact that they are running off of electricity means the initial environmental impact is going to be up there. Also, until the system is proven to work and hold up for a bundle of years how do we know what will happen to all of those batteries?

Now don’t get me wrong, I feel that if the user has an alternative energy system at their charging location to provide the required electricity, this is certainly a far superior alternative to an emission releasing, standard fossil fuel vehicle. I am just concerned that the bigger picture is not being addressed as to the emissions released during manufacture and the use of those same fossil fuels to provide the electricity that in turn powers the vehicle.

If one must drive a vehicle, a Hybrid is a smarter alternative, but I wonder if we can all consider different ways to get around such as walking, biking, public transportation or carpooling?

How do you travel? Where could you place greater emphasis on reducing your carbon footprint?

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