Green Machines David Zhou

When people think of a threat, most of them think of something that is tangible Nothing could be less from the truth with one of mankind’s biggest concerns.

Greenhouse gasses are compounds that are able to absorb and trap heat in our atmosphere. This effect causes a phenomenon known as the “greenhouse effect” which causes the temperature of the Earth to increase. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and is one of the reasons why there is global warming.

Cars and trucks are responsible for 75% of the world’s Co2 emissions. (Fig.1) Gasoline powered cars release up to 24 pounds of Co2 for every gallon of gas it uses.


Air pollution is another factor that is linked to passenger cars. Pollution in the air caused by car emissions lead to 30,000 premature deaths every year. In fact, half of America is below the federal air quality standards.

With global warming and air pollution becoming a greater concern to our country, companies are looking for new ways to stop the pollution and global warming. Car manufacturers such as Nissan and Toyota are producing cars that use less gas in order to reduce pollution.

A car powered only by solar power is out of our grasp mainly because the size of the car roof is simply to small for the amount of solar panels needed to power a car. But car manufacturers have created the next best thing.

These cars are known as “hybrids” and they can run on either gasoline or electricity. Because of this, hybrid cars achieve a higher level of fuel efficiency compared to cars with conventional engines. Many features contribute to this higher level of efficiency.

Affordable, Adequate Options

Major car company Nissan has recently manufactured a hybrid known as the Nissan Leaf. The Nissan Leaf has features such as regenerative braking, completely electric battery, a aerodynamic body, and a solar panel to power accessories.

The Nissan Leaf 2017 has a small solar panel on the back of the car that uses photovoltaic cells in order to power accessories such as the climate controller and headlights.

While many people think that pollution is pollution, there are actually several different types of pollution. Types of pollution include air pollution, sound pollution, light pollution, thermal pollution and much more.

Air pollution is not the only thing the Nissan Leaf helps reduce. The Nissan Leaf also has a completely silent motor which reduces noise pollution as well.

Toyota has also been producing a line of cars known as the Toyota Prius family. The Toyota Prius has a solar powered ventilation system which raises the car’s fuel efficiency.

Together, The Toyota Prius family has prevented 11,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide from being released. This car is also affordable, it only costs 24,000 MSRP.

Hybrid Hallmarks

A common feature in hybrid cars is regenerative braking. When a normal car brakes, it relies on friction to turn the car’s speed into heat. A hybrid car turns that energy into electricity and stores it into the car’s battery.

Another efficient feature in hybrid cars is electric-only drive. This feature allows more efficient hybrid cars to travel extended distances(10-30 miles) at relatively high speeds. When using this feature, hybrids use much less fuel than a conventional vehicles.

According to electric car activist Alexandra Paul, “I really haven't been cognitive of gas prices. It wasn't until I filled up my husband's Toyota Prius Hybrid that I had a moment of understanding of how people who drive gas cars feel. “

Electric cars are able to charge themselves up faster and cheaper than a regular gas-powered vehicle. With Tesla’s dual chargers, a car can drive 50 miles with only 1 minute of charging.

A Current Threat

However, survey in CMS reveals that 25% of kids surveyed has a hybrid car and a survey in 2010 has found that 1 in 7 people own or use a hybrid vehicle.

Scientists find these results unsettling; they think that people are still not taking the threat of global warming seriously enough.

The future of solar power is now with powerful features such as regenerative braking and electric-only drive, a mass amount of carbon dioxide could be prevented from being emitted into the atmosphere. It’s time to think where the future of transportation is taking us.


Created with images by Hermann - "hybrid hybrid vehicle hybrid car" • HighTechDad - "Hybrid Emblem - 2012 Toyota Prius V" • cliff1066™ - "Nissan LEAF"

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