Hybrid Cars


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The increase in National Fossil Fuel consumption over the last ten years has continued to add to the amount of greenhouse gasses being omitted into the atmosphere. By using a larger number of Hybrid and electric cars, we will be able to reduce our carbon footprint. Cleaner vehicles will also drastically reduce our nation’s dependency on foreign oil. In addition, less oil consumption means lower fuel costs, which could play a roll in strengthening our economy.

Background Information
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Though hybrid cars may seem like a new creation, they have quite a lengthy history. Hybrid cars began as electric cars, built in Scotland by a man named Robert Anderson. The first electric car was developed in 1839, when a powerful battery was put in the place of an engine. Later on, in 1903, the first hybrid of gasoline and electric power was created by the Krieger Company. The popularity of this car torpedoed with the creation of Henry Ford’s self-starting gas engine. Then, in 1966, the United States government introduced a bill suggesting the use of hybrid cars to reduce air pollution. When the 70’s hit and gas prices skyrocketed, auto manufacturers began working on constructing their own model of a hybrid car. In 1997, Toyota introduced the Prius and started a whole new hybrid revolution. Today, hybrid cars are looked at as the cars of the future.

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Toyota Prius

Fear of pollution, rising gas prices, and the increase in greenhouse gasses are all dominant concerns in America. Though they have recently been looked upon on a much larger scale than before, these concerns existed in our past. The beginning of the hybrid and electric car creation was started in 1839 by those who saw a need for a cleaner fuel source. In the early 1900’s steam and electric power was greatly explored in an attempt to find a harmless power source, and later in the 1960’s the government finally got involved. The use of cleaner power, and less of it, means a healthier planet, and that is why this nation is so concerned with the exploration, and production of hybrid cars.


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Graph 1: All Cars on the Road

This graph shows a steady increase in the number of cars on the road from 1996 to 2005. It displays the fact that there are more and more cars each year. In order to stop greenhouse gas emissions, we need to both increase the number of hybrids that we put on the road, and decrease the overall amount of cars driven.
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Graph 2: Fuel Consumption (All Cars)
This graph shows the increase in fuel consumption from 1996 to 2006. It displays a steady increase in the fuel that we use. If we do not act, the line will keep moving upward, and we will be consuming more fuel. We can act upon this concern by reducing the number of overall vehicles on the road, along with using more hybrid or electric cars.

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Graph 3: Prius Production
This graph shows the increase in the number of Toyota Priuses produced from 2006 to 2007. The Prius is currently the most popular hybrid on the road. This increase is a good sign that more people are buying hybrid cars in an attempt to save money on gas, and stop pollution of our atmosphere.

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Graph 4: Miles Traveled Per Gallon
This graph displays the average number of miles traveled per gallon in an average car. These numbers are drawn from the year 1996 to 2005. There have been many ups and down in the averages but over that nine year period, the average has dropped around one third of a gallon. If we plan to emit less greenhouse gasses, we need to increase that average to make cars more efficient.


Sources

“Motor Vehicle Fuel Consumption and Travel in the U.S., 1960–2005”, Infoplease, 2005, http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004727.html.<span style="mso-spacerun: yes">
“Fuel consumption data for passenger vehicles”, International Carbon Bank and Exchange, 2006, http://www.icbe.com/carbondatabase/epamileagedata.asp.</span>
“Prius 08”, Toyota, 2008, http://www.toyota.com/prius-hybrid/index.html.</span>




Images
http://www.envicars.com/images/green-cars-hybrid-car.jpg
http://static.howstuffworks.com/gif/hybrid-car-hyper.jpg</span>