With all the reports that we see today about global warming, we all have a duty to do our bit for the environment. Even for those in opposition to the global warming theory, even they can suggest it would be a bad thing to reduce the amount of pollution we breathe in. If nothing else, it will be better for our health and for the health of our children if we can keep the air as clean as possible.
With ever increasing fuel prices being blamed on the need to reduce the number of cars on the road and subsequently the emissions in the environment, we all need to find a way round the fuel suppliers and the Government being able to fleece us like they do. One way to do this is by changing the type of car we drive. Electric cars are hailed as the ultimate environment saver but there performance to date has been much below the standard we are used to from petrol cars.
One option is the Hybrid vehicle. Lexus, BMW, Ford, Honda and Peugeot are just some of the manufacturers that make hybrid cars. They use a combination of internal combustion engine and nickel metal hydride batteries to run more efficient cars with up to 70% fewer emissions than your average petrol car. And performance is good.
Hybrid cars are not a new concept but it has taken some time to bring them up to the required standard. Lexus are now releasing their sixth generation of hybrid vehicles. The idea is that environmentally sensitive innovations are used to stop our cars polluting the atmosphere. But the benefits to a hybrid don't stop there.
Overall, they are economically better. Thanks to the electronically controlled continuously variable transmission the switch between the electric drive motors and internal combustion engine is relatively seamless and provides an extremely smooth ride. On top of that, extra insulation has been added and the engine mounted higher up which all contribute to make the whole drive a lot quieter.
The brain of the hybrid, the electronic control unit, constantly monitors driving conditions and will adjust the power flow between generator, battery and motor to make sure the vehicle runs smoothly and efficiently at all times.
One of the previous problems with hybrid cars was the fact that the battery not only needed plugging in and charging but that it wouldn't last long before it needed re-charging. On top of that, the battery would only last three years and disposal of it then creates environmental issues of its own. The Lexus battery is now covered by a warranty for eight years or 100,000 miles and they will then recover it to make sure it is handled correctly. It is also charged by coasting and braking and does not need to be plugged in anywhere.
Hybrid cars are the way to go until they can bring about a proper electric car that can provide the performance we are used to. It gets us round the problem of pollution from emissions, it should reduce our reliance on petrol and still get us where we need to go. If we go in a Lexus or BMW hybrid then we are going to be doing it in much better style than one of those strange looking Noddy cars that constitutes the current all electric vehicles.
Environmental expert Catherine Harvey looks at the way Lexus are doing their bit to stop global warming.