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Hybrid cars' green credentials under scrutiny


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A vehicle is only as green as the energy emissions to make it plus the energy emissions to operate it.

Electricity doesn't grow on trees.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

People buy hybrids because the roll-out of charging infrastructure has poor. A lot of homes don't have off-street parking and no guarantee of a regular on-street parking place. Workplace and car park charging needs to be ramped up. Having scared everyone over Covid, lots of people shifted from public transport to cars, negating much of the benefit from working at home. None of this is going particularly well.

Net zero is a fantasy, like Covid zero. Humanity will always impact on the environment. We are not going to spend the rest of our lives like bunnies in a hutch. As well as reducing emissions we need to start preparing for life with more extreme weather.

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The answer is none of the above.

Disincentive car use and incentivize public and active transportation.

When changing the transportation paradigm is vital, hybrid, electric, hydrogen cars only serve to reaffirm the present paradigm and to make necessary change more difficult.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

According to an Ifpen study published at the end of 2020, hybrids emit an average of 12 percent less CO2 than a similar petrol-powered car.

Is that hybrid models in catalogs or the hybrids people buy and drive? A huge chunk of hybrids actually on the road sold are members of the Toyota Prius family and they use far more than 12% less fuel than a similar sized car. Priuses also get used worldwide as taxis, which may do 10 times the mileage of privately owned cars. It doesn't matter if there are rubbish hybrids on the market, like the Subaru XV, which is no better than the regular engine model. Very few people buy them.

I drive a Toyota Alphard hybrid people carrier (from 2003!) and it uses 40% less fuel than the 3.2L engine Nissan people carrier I had before. Electric cars may be the future, but there is no need to promote them by attacking other technologies. Honda now have a 1.6L turbo in their Step Wagon people carrier. It gets great fuel economy for its size, but in terms of category is just a regular gasoline engine car.

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Disincentive car use and incentivize public and active transportation.

That might work for city slickers but for those of us living in lightly populated rural areas far from a big city with cold winters battery electric cars are a non-starter. Engines that run on mixtures of hydrogen and ammonia, perhaps as the powerplant for a hybrid are a better answer for us rural dwellers. Winters here are cold enough for the battery warmers to use a quarter to half the charge on a battery. Then factor in reduced speeds on snow covered roads. That makes battery electric cars useless for us unless you want to sit at a charging station for half an hour two times minimum on a trip to the big city and back. Even with a gasoline car we have to refuel at least once and sometimes twice along the way.

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People always forget one thing. It is true that electric cars do not produce co2 like the petrol cars. However, where are the electricity from? If the electricity they use are generated from non-renewable energies then they are not as green as you think.

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Green washing.

Outside countries with massive output from nuclear energy such as France, the EV or hybrid is no cleaner than fuel vehicles to reduce climate change. It gets cleaner in cities as for air quality though and noise reduction is also a blessing.

I lived in Yokohama and 50% of cars were full EV. I could well sleep thanks to limited number of engines roaring around my neighbourhood.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Hybrids use less gasoline. How is this even questionable?

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The UK government will ban sale of new hybrids from 2030 and I doubt they will back track. Toyota mostly cares about the US market though I bet, where it's going to take a long time to transition.

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Meanwhile, fully electric cars aren't necessarily all that green either.

Their batteries, which are getting bigger and bigger, require a lot of energy in their production.

Where the electricity comes from is also important to determine their environmental credentials. The debate around hybrids is also a political one.

China makes the batteries and China uses Coal.


China is the largest producer and consumer of coal in the world and is the largest user of coal-generated electricity, with over a thousand coal-fired power stations.[1] The share of coal in the energy mix declined during the 2010s, falling from 80% in 2010 to 58% in 2019,[2][3] but still emits over 10% of global greenhouse gas. China's large demand was in part responsible for the delay in peak global coal production,[4] and coal consumption in China is forecast to reach a record high in 2021.[5]

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but environmentalists warn they're not as green as they seem.

Kind of like “environmentalists”?

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ShortMemoriesNov. 7 05:09 pm JST

China makes the batteries and China uses Coal.


This is what is overlooked. The technology to make the batteries is extremely dirty.


China is a huge polluter, and is building more coal burning plants so they can continue to churn out lithium for all the battery powered devices used today. And this makes the process even more dirty.


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Even if 100% of vehicles sold were BEV starting today, it would still take an optimistic 20 to 25 years to replace the entire vehicle fleet with electric vehicles.

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Toyota mostly cares about the US market though I bet, where it's going to take a long time to transition.

While the US market is important, Toyota sells cars and trucks all over the world. You encounter Toyota Hilux and Land Cruisers working hard all around the world. I can't think of anyplace I've been where I didn't see Toyota cars and trucks everywhere.

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