Should Cars be More Efficient
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The world is today faced by many challenges raging from environmental problems to depletion of key resources that are very vital for the growth of the world economy. The production of fossil fuels has gone down considerably in the resent years, and it also pollutes the environment. This challenge has primarily risen due to inefficient car models. Many countries are now facing serious economic challenges because of the high cost of fuel prices that has been felt across the world. In light of this challenge, I contend that effective cars should be made in order to curb environmental degradation.
PROPONENTS OF EFFECTIVE CARS
Apart from petroleum products, other sources of energy such as electricity, and solar can also be used to power cars. A solar car is powered using solar energy. In this case, a solar panel is placed on the roof of the car and it taps solar energy that is used to charge the car battery.
Car engineers have discovered that electric cars have many advantages compared to cars that have internal combustion engines. For example, they do not produce exhaust fumes that can pollute the environment. They also have a sustainable source of energy. This is because the batteries that they use are always recharged using electricity, which can be renewed easily.
Hybrid vehicles that use batteries can have over fifty percent fuel economy. This can be achieved by manufacturing down sized engines together with large electric motors. The fuel economy of plug in hybrids can also be sufficient. Batteries or ultra capacitors can work in hybrid vehicles that are powered using hydrogen fuel. The fuel economy that can be derived from using hydrogen vehicles can be two to three times greater than the fuel economy of vehicles powered by gasoline (Husain 34). The advantage of fuel economy derived from this process is exclusive of the efficiency involved in the production of hydrogen using primary sources of energy.
Roads should be redesigned to facilitate effective driving of cars. For example, there should be specific lanes for commercial vehicles and lanes for fast cars. This will reduce traffic snarl ups, which cause high fuel consumption by vehicles. The cities should also be designed in a manner that will facilitate walking and riding of bicycles. For instance, more paths can be created to make walking and cycling easier. Moreover, roads should be designed to accommodate electric cars.
Decentralization of services can be employed as a strategy for reducing the rate of commuting. For instance, rezoning of towns and cities can facilitate easy access to services, hence, people will not have to travel long distances in order to get them. This will make people to work close to their residence and, they will not have to drive to work (Kidd 78). The reorganization of traffic is also important in this process. For example, it should be organized in such a way that heavy commercial tracks can use the roads at night when there is less traffic on the roads.
Car pools should be rewarded, and the idea of travelling to work by private cars ought to be discouraged by governments. Car pools involve a situation where people travel over long distances together in the same car (Colls 167).
If the public transport services can be improved by making them more comfortable, and convenient, many people can stop driving on a regular basis. In this case, electric trains can be developed in many parts of the cities because they can facilitate faster transportation of people (Leedy 169). Individuals who drive cars that consume a lot of fuel are supposed to be charged high taxes by ensuring that they pay high charges for their car licenses. The extra money collected from them can be used for controlling environmental problems that arise due to the use of such cars.
Governments should revoke the licenses of individuals who have poorly maintained cars that pollute the environment. Besides this, car manufacturers that still produce cars that are not environmentally friendly must be stopped from operating (Evana). This can compel them to produce better vehicles.
Advertising of expensive vehicles that consume a lot of fuel also lure people to buy them. Hence, such advertisements should also be stopped because they indirectly contribute to environmental pollution.
“The cost of environmental damage and reclamation has to be added to the cost of owning and operating a car” (Environment Research Inc). For instance, the cost of buying a vehicle should be raised, and the government can stop giving subsidies to car owners. Although increasing the cost of maintaining cars can be a solution, it should not involve increasing the fuel prices. Moreover, motorists need to be advised on how to best maintain their cars so that they do not pollute the environment. They can be advised on various methods of saving fuel consumption in their cars.
Apart from developing efficient cars, the manner they are driven also impacts on their efficiency. For example, “there is an emerging group of enthusiasts who develop and practice driving techniques to increase fuel efficiency and reduce consumption” (Hayre 124).
It is also important for people to change their shopping habits by trying to buy goods within their localities instead of driving to other places to buy them. This can limit environmental pollution. Apart from cars, there are also factories and machines, like generators, which consume fossil fuels (Schwela 190). Such machines should also be improved so that they can be environmentally friendly. Companies can invest more in wind and solar energy instead of relying on fossil fuels as a source of energy.
OPPONENTS OF EFFECTIVE VEHICLES
Even though efficient vehicles are increasingly being recommended by environmentalist, they have greatly been ignored. “For example in the recent past, the sales of the Toyota Camry Hybrid dropped 40 percent, Civic Hybrid sales plummeted by 77 percent and Honda Fit numbers fell off by 19.7 percent” (Guzzela). A number of questions have emerged concerning the dwindling demand for the efficient automobiles.
Generally, the size and turn weight of most of these efficient cars have been condensed so that they can be propelled with as little energy as possible. In this context, many people travelling as a family find such cars very inconvenient and absolutely uncomfortable.
Al though many individuals can fail to provide credible evidence about the impact of an accident on a tiny car, most of them are well aware of the fact that small cars are likely to be more risky when they get involved in a major accident. For example, many people can be maimed if the car they are travelling by rams into a bigger car.
The number of comfort enhancing accessories installed in efficient cars is relatively low. Hence, their level of comfort cannot much the taste and class of some motorists. “For instance, features like power windows, orchestral-quality sound systems, and computerized navigation draw current” (The Green Car Club). The primary challenge associated with installation of such features in hybrid cars is that they will definitely affect their mileage.
Automakers have made great progress towards making convenient high mileage automobiles by adding comfort enhancing features. Therefore, they are suitable for daily transport. However, such additional features have extra costs attached to them both directly and indirectly. Such cars are not easy to acquire, and they also need high energy for their propulsion. “The reality is that every car or truck ever made represented a balance among a variety of factors, including price, weight, power, convenience, comfort, safety, and practicality” (Guzzela 213). Therefore, “less weight for more fuel efficiency means less power, comfort, safety and convenience” (Guzzela 214).
In 1865, “English economist William Stanley Jevons discovered an efficiency paradox: the more efficient you make machines, the more energy they use” (Environment Research Inc). This occurs because their effectiveness makes them gain demand since they are cheap to service. This makes them to be over used by people. Consumers and producers may enjoy this trend, but the environment may extremely suffer from constant pollution. Moreover, the goal of effective fuel consumption may be unattainable in this context.
Lastly, the initial cost of buying an eclectic car is relatively high compared to normal cars, which have internal combustion engines. This is because the lithium-ion battery is very expensive, and it is the one that is used to power electric cars. Another limitation is the lack of proper infrastructure that can support the use of such cars. For example, recharging facilities for the electric car batteries are not readily available.
Environmental effects of using cars are likely to spiral out of control in the near future if decisive measures are not adopted. Environmentalists have recommended various methods of mitigating the negative effects of using cars (Environment Research Inc). Those recommendations should not only be adopted by the governments themselves, but by everyone. This is because the government cannot manage to maintain the environment without the support of the citizens. The government should advice car manufacturers to come up with more environmentally friendly cars that do not have adverse effects on the environment. This can be achieved by ensuring that they do not produce toxic gases that pollute the air.
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