September 27th, 2012 by Zachary Shahan
Petrol-based vehicles have been the backbone of motoring for many decades. When we think of cars, we think of petrol-based cars by default. Yet, everything must come to an end.
With more modern alternatives, it seems the days of the purely petrol-based car are at their end. Whilst petrol, as a fuel source, is effective as a means to power a vehicle, it is not without its drawbacks. With new alternatives such as electric and hybrid cars showing more advantages, it can be safe to say that the petrol-exclusive (or even petrol-inclusive) motor is becoming a thing of the past.
Limited and Harmful Fuel
One of the main problems currently facing petrol is that it’s a limited resource. Given the huge demand for petrol, its clear to see that something has to give. Currently, this is in the form of high, expensive prices to fuel your vehicle. As the use and number of cars increases, so the demand for petrol (which is limited) goes up.
As a result, its becoming impractical to run a car solely off of petrol alone. It’s expensive for the average driver. Furthermore, it is not the safest or most reliable source. The internal combustion engine can generate power, but not without the risks of leaks, damage, or failure.
Additionally, it shouldn’t be forgotten that petrol as a fuel source is damaging the environment. When it’s burnt up in the car, it comes out as CO2 emissions. These emissions cause damage to the atmosphere and O-zone, contributing to global warming, or the greenhouse effect. Again, due to the increase of cars over time, this has only gotten worse. With such large numbers, it’s clear an alternative is needed to reduce this reliance on petrol and the harmful pollutants it emits as a result.
Hybrid Cars and the Future
Electric energy, on the other hand, seems to be one of the better alternatives. It’s renewable and doesn’t produce harmful gases when used in a vehicle.
Additionally, for the time being at least, it can be combined with petrol fuel to create hybrids. These hybrids aren’t new; they’ve been around for a while. Produced in the early days by the likes of Lexus and Toyota, these cars intelligently combine both a petrol-based engine and an electric motor. For the most part, the electric motor is used where possible. When the car needs to go faster or perform beyond the limits of electric power, the fuel-based engine kicks in to provide the extra power and drive.
By relying on electric power more, less fuel is used — and, thus, less CO2 is emitted. The additional reliance on electricity also means less fuel needs to be purchased, saving the humble driver money in the long run. The longer you drive the car, the more you save each time.
In many ways, a hybrid car can be considered an investment. Not just financially; it’s also doing its part to keep deadly emissions to a minimum.
Image: hybrid car via Lexus UK
Keep up to date with all the most interesting green news on the planet by subscribing to our (free) Planetsave newsletter.