Hybrid cars are supposed to be the solution to the large amount of pollution that is generated by cars and causes a large amount of emissions to be sent into the atmosphere. The state of the environment is a very real concern and industries that are mainly responsible for the pollution, which goes into the earth’s atmosphere, are working hard to find solutions to the problem. They are supposed to be one of the best types of cars on the market as not only are they a help to the environment but they supply the owner with state of the art vehicle technology, cheaper insurance premiums and are less likely to experience mechanical and fuel related problems which reduces the need for roadside assistance.
Hybrid cars are at the centre of a great deal of debate as to whether or not they really are the answer to the environmental problems, which we are facing. They still rely on the use of fuel to be powered although the technology is such that fuel consumption is minimal and other energy resources are used in combination to allow the car to have the same performance value without the harmful emissions that are affecting the ozone layer. Hybrid vehicles are like marmite, they are either loved or hated and there is still much research needed to ensure they are the right format and combinations of technology to help reduce pollution whilst allowing the population to own and use their own vehicles.
Hybrid cars have faced even more scrutiny recently after the Ford C Max Hybrid was found to not be living up to expectation. Ford claimed that the car was able to achieve 47 miles to the gallon and the reality was that 32 miles was the most that was being achieved. Consumers were buying the car for its great specifications and the fact it was deemed one of the most economic cars on the market and the truth was very disappointing. Ford have apologised for the mistake and blamed the labelling on the vehicle for the misinformation and stated that it was due to confusion between the hybrid vehicle and the standard model of the same size and performance level.
Since the uproar, the government and car bodies have called for regular testing on hybrid cars to ensure they are meeting the specifications, which are claimed, and that they really are a benefit to the environment. The testing process will have to change as the tests currently depend on modest driving methods, adhering to all speed limits and certain levels of driving which are unrealistic to the modern driver. Driving skills are also altered by weather conditions, driving speeds and the break in miles of a vehicle. They are all factors that were not taken into consideration when the test was completed. The new processes and regularity of tests will ensure each conditioned is considered and allowed for and will hopefully produce clearer and more accurate results.
The purpose of the hybrid car is to help the environment and the misleading levels means that the cars actually require a great deal more fuel than was originally thought. The result is that the impact on the environment is the same and they hybrid car becomes almost pointless and does not live up to the specifications that it should.