Green living: Save Our Earth By Living Green

Are hybrid cars really better for the environment?

The question of whether hybrids really are better for the environment is a simple one to answer. But a straightforward “yes” only really tells half the story.

There are lots of complicating factors to bear in mind if you’re looking to make a truly informed choice of new car that will simultaneously benefit – or at least harm least of all the options – the environment.

But to start with hybrids, it’s unequivocally true that regulated emissions are reduced significantly when comparing a petrol hybrid car with a conventionally-powered petrol car. There are significant reductions in carbon monoxide, in hydrocarbons and in Nitrogen Oxide of anywhere between 70% and 90%.

hybrid - Are hybrid cars really better for the environment?

Also, hybrids reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 25% or more compared with a petrol-only equivalent vehicle.
And as conventional engine technology improves, with manufacturers including Honda playing a key role in this, this will still pose no competitive “environmental” market-led threat to hybrids as they will always outperform the petrol-only equivalent cars as even the improved conventional engine can still be ‘hybrid-ised’.

What looks more likely in practice over the longer term is that all car engines will become hybrids to a greater or lesser extent and this will be a major step forward for the environment. There’ll be lots of shouting and political-cum-business infighting along the way, but this is the way things are going.

But hybrids still do give off some emissions unlike their electric-only competitors. And the ranges on electric cars are getting longer almost by the day. Each time a major motor show comes around; the world’s biggest car makers are keen to show off their electrical vehicle know-how.

For those of us that must balance practicalities with environmental; concerns though – all-electric cars remain just out of realistic grasp for the time being. So the best new car offers on hybrid vehicles remain the best environmental and practical choice for now.

pinit fg en rect red 28 - Are hybrid cars really better for the environment?

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.