Global Warming - Clean Car solution
It can no longer be denied: global warming is a fact. In the last century, human activity has produced massive amounts of
greenhouse gases, causing global temperatures to rise. But the blame can’t be placed solely upon industry and big business.
A large part of the global warming problem is us: everyday people going about their day, unaware that their vehicles are
contributing to pollution levels. But according to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a quarter of the carbon dioxide
emitted in the U.S. comes from automobiles (1).
The good news is that much of the pollution which comes from automobiles can be avoided. One of the solutions is a
revolutionary type of hybrid-electric vehicle, or hybrid for short. Hybrid-electric cars get their power from both
a small gasoline engine, and an electric motor. The gasoline engine charges the electric motor through a process
called regenerative breaking: basically, the electric motor is used as the vehicle’s breaking system, and the
resistance charges the electric motor (2). Hybrid cars are the next generation in clean car solutions, but there
are other methods for making automobiles cleaner.
The other clean car solution that is showing promise is hydrogen power. Unlike fossil fuels, hydrogen is one of
the most abundant elements on Earth, making it a perfect choice as a fuel. Hydrogen fueled vehicles also produce
no greenhouse gases. However, this clean car solution is still in development. There are a few obstacles which
must be overcome, such as lowering the cost of hydrogen fueled vehicles, and finding better ways to store and transport hydrogen (3).
However, the biggest obstacle for these clean car solutions is consumer acceptance. Only around 1% of cars on
the road today are hybrids, and the sales rates for hybrid cars are showing no sign of improvement (4). Clean
car solutions can only be effective if consumers are willing to replace their conventional fossil fuel vehicles
with hybrid vehicles. We all must do our part to reverse the effects of global warming.
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