Hybrid cars due to various perceptions have provided a controversial topic. The vehicles marketed as Eco-friendly necessities are generally accepted, especially with regard to their efficient fuel economy. This is a primary factor for the average motorist however, one particular aspect to consider is whether hybrids are a sustainable mode of transport!
In certain models, electric motors and batteries have a content of rare earth metals; types of elements not widely used in a high percentage of common electronic applications. As with any type of vehicle, a crucial factor is maintenance, its availability and the cost. It has been determined that in several years time the global demand for rare earth metals is expected to significantly exceed their availability, should there be no new sources for producing them.
A Hybrid Risk
A scenario that has the potential to make the various manufacturers of gasoline-electric hybrid cars vulnerable to supply restrictions could be created by China. This economic powerhouse is also the dominating country in the production of rare earth metals and would be able to impose limitations as global demand increases. It seems that not only do we have to figure out a way to make cars less polluting, but we also have to change the way we manufacture cars if we want to keep moving forwards in energy efficiency technology.
Rare Earth Metals
There are fifteen recognized rare earth metals.
One of them in particular is a key component in the alloy used in lightweight magnets for electric motors and generators. This particular rare earth metal named Neodymium has been determined as one with a high future availability risk factor. In addition, there is Lanthanum that is a primary influence in the content of car batteries for hybrid cars, such as the Toyota Prius.
The dependency on fossil fuels is an issue that affects every person on the planet. With the pressure for change increasing from the green movement, the concept of hybrid cars on the roads of the world has influenced the production of this type of vehicle and the increasing number of wind turbines. Hybrid vehicles have made inroads into gaining the confidence of many motorists. They protect the environment for future generations, reduce costs and by emitting less toxic pollution into the atmosphere reduce the potential for global warming.
Into the Future
Since the introduction of electric powered vehicles, related technology has continued to develop. Inspiration has come from belief in the hybrid concept, success and the need and potential for a better and healthier lifestyle. As with ventures into space, future developments in hybrid vehicles could turn science fiction into reality.
Car of the Future Today
Hybrid cars have a developed system to provide power. The vehicles in the future will not be just a source for energy economy, but may even act as mobile electricity generators. The use of alternative fuels in the production of electricity will create many economic advantages, with the potential for energy resource variations. The availability of hybrids has already brought the motorist of today into the future, with their positive effect on the environment and economic effectiveness increasing their popularity.
Freelance writer Sam Jones spends much of his time writing about environmental issues and ways in which we can all adopt a greener lifestyle in order to reduce our carbon footprint.. He advises that the Green Deal UK is a great way of increasing energy efficiency in the home