Hybrid vehicle emissions are significantly less than those of a conventional car. This makes them an attractive option when looking to go green. In order to appreciate why the emissions are less with a hybrid vehicle, it is useful to understand a little more about how one of these new generation cars works.
What Is a Hybrid Vehicle?
A hybrid vehicle is one that uses two or more distinct power sources. In cars, this has come to mean vehicles that use both a traditional gas powered engine and an electric motor powered by a battery. The battery is continuously recharged by the gas engine, meaning that unlike all electric vehicles, the hybrid car does not need to be plugged into a power source.
The hybrid car uses technology to determine which power source to use. Typically the hybrid car will use the electric motor around town and for low-speed cruising. It also provides additional power for acceleration and when climbing a hill. The gas-powered motor is used for longer, faster journeys.
When braking or coasting to a stop, the hybrid uses its electric motor as a generator to produce electricity, which is then stored in its battery pack.
About Hybrid Vehicle Emissions
Hybrid vehicle emissions are significantly less than traditional cars. The partial use of an electric powered engine reduces the emissions that are harmful to the environment.
The amount of emissions produced will of course vary by car type. The Toyota Prius, which has been bought by over 1 million people worldwide claims on its website that Prius CO2 emission is 104 g/km, which is about 55% less than other cars of the same class equipped with emissions control devices. This demonstrates the significant savings in emissions when comparing a hybrid car with a traditional car.
Why Reduce Vehicle Emissions?
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), driving a car is the single most polluting thing that most of us do. Therefore, reducing vehicle emissions should be near the top of the green agenda. One of the priorities must be to reduce the amount of Carbon dioxide, otherwise known as CO2, emitted into the environment. Carbon dioxide is one of the main greenhouse gases, and there is strong evidence that greenhouse gases are causing climate change.
The more we can do to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide being produced, the more we can influence a halt in climate change which will ultimately affect everyone the world over. One of the main ways of reducing carbon dioxide is for every individual to look at their own carbon footprint and identify ways of reducing this. The lowering of car emissions, for most people, is a way that a significant reduction in their own carbon footprint can be made.
Other Benefits of Hybrid Cars
- Hybrid cars are at the forefront of technology, so they have been designed with the latest developments. Not only does this mean a reduction in emissions, this also means the cars incorporate all the latest safety and comfort devices.
- The use of a hybrid car reduces the amount of fuel consumed, therefore resulting in less visits to the gas pump, which of course means less cost to run.
- Many governments are offering tax breaks for hybrid cars.
Other Ways of Reducing Car Emissions
In addition to driving a hybrid car, there are other ways of reducing car emissions that can apply to all cars.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Poorly maintained vehicles produce more emissions than well-maintained vehicles. A properly tuned vehicle will perform at the height of its efficiency, thus producing less waste and emissions.
Drive Fewer Miles
This might sound obvious, however it often gets overlooked! This needn't mean getting rid of the car and walking everywhere. Simple steps, such as combining trips to the school and shopping, can help reduce the number of miles driven. Where possible, consider using public transport or look at car sharing.
Driving a hybrid car can have wide reaching benefits. For more reading about hybrid cars, review the following articles: