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The Vehicle of Today

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Did you know the United States registered 220,461,056 cars in 1996 and 132,432,044 of those are passenger vehicles? What then is the number one car? With a mileage of less than twenty miles per hour, Ford’s eight-cylinder giant, the F150, ranks number one. The United States owns only 20,965 Honda Insights, aluminum frame midgets with a fifty mile-per-gallon mileage. Our nation uses an incredible amount of energy. This is the reason why environmental technologies, especially fuel-efficient cars, prove essential. It is the ancient virtue of responsibility. One does not live in a void. What one does, what one takes, and what one drives affects others and the environment. If we find ways to take less, in the form of fuel, we can do more to give to others and nature. We have taken a step toward this and invented technology capable of ecological awareness, the Prius, we must take the next step - use it and produce it. We must fulfill our responsibility to our world and cure our cars.


Our gasoline consumption strains the resources of the environment, the world, and our budget. Almost every year from 1976, the world has suffered a major oil spill drowning nearby waters with no less than five million gallons of oil each accident. The ten greatest spills occurred in the last ten years, and the United States Mexican Gulf oil disaster is responsible for the worst. The latter rendered 12,000 Louisianans unemployed, threatened 400 species, and compromised 2,300 square miles. The damage however does not reflect oil supply. World oil supplies have shrunk. North Sea Region’s oil supply has been predicted to decrease 0.12 million barrels of oil per day, Syria 0.03, Mexico 0.06, Indonesia 0.02, and Malaysia 0.03. While supply sinks, demand will increase 1.52 percent. Asia will require 0.64 million barrels per day in 2012. “Although we are third largest producer (of oil), about half of the petroleum we use is imported,” according to the EIA (U.S Energy Information Agency.) The average American uses 500 gallons a year. California devoured 7.3 billion gallons of gas. The United States imported 4.8 billion barrels per day in 2010; 40% used by cars. With great need and few resources prices will skyrocket. “Say good bye to 3.00 dollar a gallon gasoline, those days are truly over” laments Forbes. Vehicles decimate environmental resources, international oil supply, and personal income.

Hybrids efficiently solve the vices of cars. Newsweek writer Sharon Begly states “ (improving) vehicle mileage (is an) obvious step toward reducing greenhouse gasses.” However, “the public yawned and bought bigger cars,” laments Representative Rush Holt. With only 750,000 hybrids in the U.S, Arnold Schwarzenegger stood apart and led 800 people to purchase the Tesla Roadster, a fully electric car capable of 200 miles per charge. When England’s fire department committed to reducing CO2 by 22%, they began a six month trial of CUE-V and Toyota Auris Hybrid Synergy Drive for everyday work. The Nissan Leaf all electric car requires zero fuel. The U.S best seller Pruis needs only a gallon for every 43 miles. Hybrids are a practical alternative to one’s sedan.
Car companies must make this beneficial alternative available in order to fulfill green customer demand. Forty percent of Nissan Leaf customers, a fully electric car, had no previous affiliation with the company. Eighteen percent actually traded in their Prius, a hybrid, for the Leaf, an all electric. Of Chevrolet’s Volt customers, 78% had no previous dealings with the company and 60% percentage of these live in California, Chevrolet worst sector. “These cars appeal to the cool, tech savvy consumer agent” says Zoliver Hazimeh, auto industry consultant.” Hybrid Electric cars have also drawn interest and produced a sale, even if the sale wasn’t a hybrid. This redirected interest will produce “long term benefits in terms of (making) loyalty and customer retention” predicts Barbara Key, an R.C Polk consultant. “Is the Volt economically good for the company” says Mark Reuss, president of GM's North American operations “yes we are using the car to change the company.” As ecological interest increases the hybrid/electrical car will become essential to marketing strategies and the very reputation of the car company.

The reputation of the hybrid may be jeopardized by its fatal silence. According to Deborah Kent Stein of the National Federation of the Blind “for us, these cars are invisible.” Indeed am ABC report indicated that a hybrid was twice as likely to collide with a pedestrian. In 2008 hybrids were responsible for the deaths of more than 4,300 pedestrians. Backing up, pulling out, or simply cruising, hybrids may prove potentially dangerous to our disabled citizens. Although both the Leaf and Prius produce artificial and even science fiction sounds, researches have found that the optimal solution is the reproduction of a combustion engine din. The situation became so dire that on December 5th President Barrack Obama signed the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act to protect these potential victims. The Kia Optimum coming out in 2012 with sound identical to a SUV. Deseret News predicts, “By September 2017 all new hybrid and electric cars will sound like regular cars.”

Hybrid cars prove themselves as practical alternatives to gas guzzling combustion engines. Oil supplies dry up and leave industrial world, nation, and daily lives thirsty. Hybrids perfectly fulfill the need. If oil consumption will be curbed, the automobile industry must participate by equipping the new market and fueling their own finances. Although the innovation initially may have endangered our disabled citizens, the President and our technological ingenuity eliminated the threat. With seven billion people on earth vying for the same gasoline, the hybrid/electric car rises as the vehicle of today.



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