So my husband had mentioned to me a few weeks back that hybrids aren’t (at this point in time) proven to be any more good for the environment than regular full-on gas fueled vehicles.  On the contrary, our usage of hybrid cars is ‘carbon neutral’?  - meaning the usage of hybrid cars in North America has yet to change, for better or worse, the state of pollution.   At the time, my mind was entirely elsewhere so I only heard half of what I was listening to... 

Today, I made him break him it down for me because we were driving around and I’m excited about getting my license soon.... and this is what I think I learned....  bear with me though, any discrepancies I speak of surely are of my own fault... he’s too smart for his own good sometimes and could explain it much better than I could, certainly....


Hybrid cars rely on some electric power, no?  And as the number of hybrid cars increases, so does the amount of work our coal burning plants providing our electricity increases.  Of course the emissions from gas fueled cars are horrible, but the emissions from gas fuelled cars that are 50% (or whatever %) electric are just as harmful as well due to their % of increased work on coal burning plants already burning for all of the other electricity we use... while still emitting harmful fumes from the gas.


If our nation utilized full-on solar/wind energy for more of its energy (like Germany or Denmark), of course electric cars would be far less harmful to the environment.  But China for instance, which is overpopulated for its land space already (I believe) has a huge influx in electric or hybrid vehicles, while using coal burning plants to supply the bulk of its electricity (I don’t know if they use wind or solar energy anywhere or at all), and emits deadly amounts of pollution on a daily basis... even though and perhaps because they use an increasing amount of hybrid vehicles.


So where are your thoughts in this?  I’m wondering....


I see and hear of rich celebrities such as Leo DiCaprio driving hybrids and touting the pros of doing so, to save the earth and whatnot... while the majority of the countries they live in and drive in are still electrically powered by coal burning plants.  I am starting to think that celebrities such as he with huge speaking power are maybe confused about what exactly it is that they are aiming for?  And again, bear with me, I’m still learning but I would think that they should perhaps be educating people more on how much more effective electric cars could be were the rest of the power utilized by their countries of origin not be from coal burning plants.  And in turn, they could be touting the pros of wind and solar energy before saying we should all be driving hybrids.


Anyway, now that the engineering of hybrid vehicles and to boot, the engineering of electricity in general for North America has been explained to me in concepts I can appreciate, my thoughts on the idea of electric cars in North America are rather short of encouraging to the new age hippies who drive hybrids because it’s been said to be environmentally profitable.


Let’s take a step back... focus on our main supply of energy sources and then decide what vehicles we should drive to best accommodate those same energy sources.  Let’s be honest, without energy there are no vehicles to drive, so let’s deal with first things first, and the cars we drive being last on the agenda of what’s really important in our lives.  Let’s first determine the pros vs. the cost of installing wind and solar energy mills throughout our continent.  Let’s first deduct the voices of the politicians who have a lot to lose from our collective determining of such. Let’s collectively say hey, why should we buy a hybrid? Why Explain to me - Joe Blow - why buying your hybrid makes the air that I and my children breathe cleaner when coal burning plants are still the source of the electricity that my hybrid uses in my country?


- Fiona Weaver 


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