Are electric or hybrid cars a green marketing myth, or a real solution?
Will adopting electric or hybrid cars solve any of the problems it's hoped they'll solve? A lot of money and effort is being spent on them, but so too is money being spent on developing gasoline cars. The question is, what is the best allocation of research resources to solve transportation system problems?
When we set out to solve a problem it's best to describe the problem correctly. The solution we end up with is controlled by how we define the problem.
Many are promising big things about electric and hybrid cars, while some are saying it's a bunch of hype. One thing we do know is the big payoff only comes when electrified vehicles become common.
Most of the focus is on environmental issues, primarily greenhouse gas reduction. Electric and hybrid cars are largely seen as solving environmental problems because of their tailpipe emissions. Electric cars have zero tailpipe emissions, and hybrid cars tend to have much less tailpipe emissions than equivalent gasoline powered cars.