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Economic Impact of Hybrid Cars Report

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Updated: Jan 4th, 2019

Hybrid cars are modern automobiles which can be powered by two or more power sources. Some of the most common sources of power for hybrid cars would include electricity, electric vehicle batteries, liquefied or compressed gas, fossil fuels, solid combustibles, renewable sources, and human-powered sources among others.

Automobiles have been viewed as the largest single source of air and environment pollution in the world. In that case, the increasing number of cars in the world has raised a lot of concern in regard with the future of humans in the face of the heightening pollution and the issue of global warming. Hybrid cars, however, appears to be the answer to this overwhelming issue.

These modern cars can use both conventional power and electric power, and this minimizes the emission of harmful by-products, thus helping to fight global warming. In this respect, hybrid cars are more eco-friendly than conventional cars which are known to release more pollution into the atmosphere. Hybrid cars have become a practical choice for many car consumers, thus emerging as the best-selling cars in the world. This paper provides an in-depth overview of the main economical impacts of hybrid cars.

Hybrid vehicles are among the first technologies that have been developed in the entire automobile sector, towards creation of automobiles that are more eco-friendly and fuel efficient.

The use of hybrid cars brings forth numerous economical impacts, thus providing consumers with affordable, convenient, and efficient means of transportation. The ability of hybrid cars to use numerous sources of power makes them more reliable in the modern world, when compared to conventional cars which rely on a single source of power.

This variety of power sources gives the consumers an opportunity to go for the most preferable source of power for their vehicles. This means that, consumers can opt for the most economical choices available, thus saving money and other resources. More importantly, consumers would not have to incur extra expenses going for long distances in search for fuel. This is a forgotten habit in the current world where people can use other alternatives which can be acquired easily, and at a fair cost.

Even though hybrid cars are costly, their management is quite cheaper and can be very useful to those people who want to save money on oil products and other costly sources of power for their cars. Statistics from various parts of the world where the use of hybrid cars is common have shown some models of these cars to be economical in terms of energy consumption. In other terms, these modern types of vehicles are more fuel efficient when compared to their non-hybrid counterparts.

This has been made possible by the vehicles’ operational mechanism, which involves the combination of gasoline engines and electric motors. A good example here is the Chevrolet Volt hybrid car which can use a gallon to cover about 60 miles, almost double what a conventional car of the same model would do. As a matter of fact, hybrid car consumers can be assured of realizing huge savings over the lifetime of their cars. This is advantageous for users of hybrid cars, considering the high fuel prices currently witnessed in the world.

The idea of hybrid cars has also brought positive economical impacts on automobile industries. The technology for subsequent models is much likely to become more affordable soon as the global demand for these cars continue to rise [Frank, 1]. Even though the prices for hybrid cars may never change as a result of these developments, their manufacture may be more efficient. This will in return create avenue for more affordable hybrid vehicles.

The global automobile industry would get a big boost in case that happens. This will also have a significant impact on the economy, as more people are likely to get jobs in the automobile industry, either as car dealers or as automakers. In fact, this benefit has been realized in some Western countries where hybrid cars are designed, build, and sold. On the same line, foreign investors in the automobile sector are likely to establish new plants on these countries, thus helping to create more job opportunities for the host communities.

Apart from these economical benefits, this rampant development of hybrid cars can also be associated with many negative impacts on the economy. As a matter of fact, the energy industry is arguably one of the many sectors that are likely to be affected badly by the current technological developments in the automotive sector.

As it would be expected, the demand for fossil fuels and other oil products has dropped tremendously in the past few years as a result of new technological advancements in the automotive sector, particularly in the development of the hybrid car.

According to Granovskii, Dincer and Rosen [2] these cars’ ability to operate on a variety of power sources has not been good news to energy companies who would see this as the worst form of competition in the market. Gasoline stations, which help in distributing most of these products, are also potential sufferers of this fate.

With the current drop in the demand of oil products, consumers will find no reason to visit gasoline stations more frequent. This will not only affect the sale of fuels, but also that of other in-store products such as drinks, snacks, and ready-made foodstuffs that are traded within the vicinity of many gasoline stations. In this regard, energy companies and gasoline stations may find it hard to survive in the market in the near future, unless they come up with new ways of providing energy to car owners.

The development of Hybrid cars has also come with immense economical challenges on the car-buying public. Even though cars are useful assets in human life, their purchase do represent major purchase decisions to many people, especially in these times when new technologies have been adopted in the automotive industry. Hybrid cars are usually more expensive than conventional cars, probably owing to their sophisticated features and heightening demand allover the world.

The other possible factor which makes hybrid cars more costly than traditional vehicles is their global acceptance as a better alternative for the conventional vehicles which utilize oil products which have become a major threat to human heath and the environment [Anderson and Anderson, 3]. Apart from the initial cost of owning a hybrid car, consumers will have to part with more money in other crucial matters which may constitute major expenses.

Some of these matters would include insurance costs, repair costs incase of accidents, and maintenance costs, among other things. On a further note, hybrid cars require special servicing, but not all service expertise and equipment can be available for everyone who owns this type of car. In this case, many people will have to face the obligation of visiting manufacturers and dealers on a regular basis to have their vehicles serviced. This, however, does not come easy for many car owners.

Other economic effects of hybrid cars can be realized through environmental costs. The high cost of hybrid cars has left many people with no other option, but to go for traditionally-fueled vehicles which may be older, but more affordable.

Older cars are known to emit more pollution than newer ones, and in that case, increased levels of air and environmental pollution will be observed in many regions. This, however, will necessitate environmental clean-up initiatives to help minimize the possible effects of pollution which are likely to arise from such events.

Most of these clean-up efforts involve hired services, materials and equipment, thus costing the communities huge amounts of money which could have been useful in other important initiatives meant for the society. As if that was not enough, the increased use of hybrid cars in the world is has contributed to a significant decrease in the demand of conventional cars. This has threatened to leave many car manufacturers and dealers in serious financial straits.

All these observations are clear indication that the idea of hybrid cars has brought many blessings as well as curses into the world. In this regard, even as we continue to express our willingness to embrace the idea of hybrid cars as a better choice of modern transportation, we should also try to assess and consider the many economical impacts associated with them.

References

[1] Frank, A., 2007, “Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles for a Sustainable Future,” American Scientist, 95(2), pp. 158-165.

[2] Granovskii, M., Dincer, I., and Rosen, M., 2006, “Economic and environmental comparison of conventional, hybrid, electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles,” Journal of Power Sources, 159(2), pp. 1186-1193.

[3] Anderson, C., and Anderson, J., 2010, Electric and hybrid cars: A history, McFarland Publishing, Jefferson, North Carolina.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Economic Impact of Hybrid Cars." January 4, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/economic-impact-of-hybrid-cars/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Economic Impact of Hybrid Cars'. 4 January.

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