As mankind continues to consume its supply of fossil fuels, brilliant auto engineers from around the world are constantly researching and developing new ways to increase transportation efficiency. They have managed to convince society that hybrid and electric vehicles (EVs) are the way of the future. As of right now, there are 19 car manufacturers offering hybrid or EV cars with gas mileage numbers ranging from 20mpg-119mpg. To many, this is absolutely astonishing. And in all honesty, I was also once astonished as well.
Last year, my mom purchased a Metallic Green Tesla Model S with a beige leather interior. When I first saw the car, I thought it was absolutely magnificent. Everything about the car looked exactly as it had in the magazine. I couldn’t resist telling all of my friends about her new car. My mom felt similarly, telling everyone she knew about her new “baby.” She not only discussed its quality of craftsmanship and performance, but she also informed people about how the purchase had changed her into an eco-friendly advocate.
I had always just gone along with her “we are now one step closer to creating a sustainable world” speech; however, after reading various articles about the manufacturing process of Teslas and other hybrid/EV vehicles, my view changed.
The hybrid and electric vehicles of today primarily use a nickel metal hydride batteries. And although these batteries have proven to hold a decent electrical charge, they are just plain harmful to the environment. The process of creating this battery begins when the nickel is mined and smelted in Sudbury, Ontario. From there, the smelted nickel is shipped to Wales, where it undergoes a refinement process. After this refinement process, it is sent to China to be made into nickel foam. Then it is sent to Japan, where it is finally made into a battery. Whew! That was a long list of destinations.
People often overlook the fact that the obscene amount of fossil fuel consumed in making nickel metal hydride batteries heavily outweighs the benefits of an “eco-friendly” car. In essence, one is better off keeping their fuel-burning car instead of purchasing a hybrid or electrical vehicle.
With that said, I urge you to not only reconsider purchasing hybrid/electric vehicles, but to also think about where your purchased goods are coming from. What does “Made in [Insert Country]” really mean? Was the product fully manufactured there? Or was is only assembled in that country? If society is to act in a more sustainable manner, it must become more educated about the processes involved in “satiating” modern-day materialism.