You may have noticed that green cars have become increasingly popular over the past few years. But what exactly is a green car, and why are they better in comparison to a conventional vehicle? Well, here is a little guide to answer those main green car queries.
Firstly, what is a green car?
Most conventional vehicles are powered by petrol or diesel, which are fossil fuels. The combustion of fossil fuels has a negative impact on the environment. Green cars are vehicles that utilize alternative means of energy, in order to affect the environment in a less harmful way, and are considered environmentally friendly.
Why are vehicles that use petrol or diesel as fuel, harmful to the environment?
The petrol and diesel that is used in conventional vehicles are fractional distillations of petroleum. Petroleum is a highly toxic oil, particularly to fish, and also contains Benzene. Benzene (according to cancer.org) is known to cause cancer, particularly leukemia, when exposed to humans. When petroleum distillates are burned, they release harmful gases into the environment, such as carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. These gases contribute to the greenhouse effect, to acid rain and can also affect a person’s health when breathed in.
What is the “greenhouse effect” and “acid rain”?
The greenhouse effect is a process where the Sun’s energy is trapped by the atmosphere in order to warm the Earth. However, gases emitted from conventional vehicles are believed to be increasing this effect, and warming the Earth even more. As the Earth’s temperature rises this can have devastating impacts on the environment, such as an increase in sea levels and dramatic changes in the weather. Acid rain is precipitation that has become acidic due to a reaction with toxic gases that are emitted from the combustion of fossil fuels. Acid rain can cause damage to plant life, and can cause corrosive damage to buildings or statues that contain large amounts of calcium carbonate.
How are green cars powered?
Green cars are powered in several different ways. Some of them use different fuels, such as hydrogen, liquid nitrogen or biodiesel, and some of them can be powered by electricity, or a combination of electricity and a fuel such as hydrogen.
What brands of green car are available?
Due to a popular demand in green cars, many of the major car manufacturers have built green cars, including Hyundai, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Lexus and Ford. Models of green car can look just as good, if not better, than a conventional car model. The “Green Car Journal” awarded the Chevrolet Volt with the Green Car of the Year award 2011, with the Audi A3 TDI winning in 2010, and the VW Jetta TDI winning in 2009. Purchasing a green car can help to lessen the negative effects on the environment that can be caused by conventional cars that use petrol or diesel as fuel. Not only does it help the environment, it could also help to lessen any potential harmful effects to human and animal health and well-being. In addition to those benefits, financial savings can be made for hybrid vehicles which combine the use of electricity and fossil fuels, making the car more fuel efficient. With the current costs of fuel, this can be attractive car buyers as the benefits of green cars often justify their price tags.
Written by Stephanie Staszko on behalf of Just Motor Law who are motoring offence solicitors in the UK.
Federal Investigative Report Pins Blame on Oil Giant-
According to a new federal investigative report, oil giant British Petroleum holds most the responsibility for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. While this isn’t the first analysis alleging that the company is in the wrong, this investigation was more thorough in determining the cause behind the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon rig. Much of the report focuses on the company’s cost-cutting and lack of precautionary measures. The report – performed by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) and the US Coast Guard (USCG) – indicated that BP’s poor regulation methods led to “a series of decisions that complicated cementing operations, added incremental risk, and may have contributed to the ultimate failure of the cement job”. “It was quite clear from the onset that pretty much most of the companies involved were not going to brag about their involvement in this situation, but the question has always been where is the balance of blame, and this report today puts the balance of blame firmly on BP,” Tom Bergin of Reuters, and the author of “Spills & Spin: The Inside Story of BP”, said in a comment.
Global oil consumption increased last year to 87.4 million barrels of oil a day, according to a Worldwatch report. The report calls the increase an “all-time high.” One-third of the increase is from China, which uses over 10 percent of the world’s oil. U.S., Brazil, Russia and the Middle East accounted for 48 percent of the increase. Consumption in the EU actually decreased for the fourth consecutive year. From 2008 to 2009, oil consumption decreased 1.5 percent due to the recession. Oil remained the biggest source of primary energy use globally in 2010. However, its share of primary energy use decreased for the 11th consecutive year -this time to 37 percent. The gap in oil consumption between countries in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and non-OECD countries narrowed. OECD countries represented 52.5 percent of total oil consumption, and non-OECD represented 47.4 percent.
Oil Sands Cost Plenty to Harvest
The report pointed out that although oil sands “represent huge resources” their “relatively high production and environmental costs will likely prove to be important limiting factors on production.” Oil sands in Alberta, Canada accounted for an extra 143 billion barrels of proved reserves last year, equal to slightly more than Europe and Eurasia’s reserves combined. Alberta’s oil sands now contribute to about half of Canada’s crude oil production and are expected to continue to provide more. “Between the recession, the BP oil spill, and instability in the Middle East and North Africa, oil markets have been on a roller coaster the last few years,” said Worldwatch Sustainable Energy Fellow Saya Kitasei, who co-authored the report along with Worldwatch researcher Natalie Narotzky. “When the dust settles, however, it is clear that the momentum of future market growth has moved to the developing world, where oil consumption did not miss a beat during the recession and shows no sign of slowing,” Kitasei added.
Article Originally Posted on Care2.