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File photo of Chevrolet Volt hybrid car. (Used for representational purpose only)
File photo of Chevrolet Volt hybrid car. (Used for representational purpose only)

Are hybrid vehicles as green as they seem to be?

  • Greenpeace and the pressure group Transport & Environment feel that hybrid cars may slow down the transition process of the automotive industry towards a fossil fuel free industry. 

Hybrid cars are increasingly becoming popular in the European Union as environmentally conscious drivers are moving away from conventional vehicles. However, environmentalists suggest that the hybrid vehicles might not be as green as they seem to be.

The sales of these vehicles that come with a combustion engine and a small electric motor that allows the user to drive the car a few kilometres without emitting CO2 are gaining momentum and might soon overtake petrol cars in the union.

These are also cheaper compared to their fully electric counterparts and also provide assurance to those who seem to worry about the battery running out of power as the charging infrastructure has not been widespread.

(Also read | Europe not working enough on supply chain gaps for EV batteries: Mining group)

However, Greenpeace and the pressure group Transport & Environment believe that hybrid vehicles might slow down the transition of the automotive world that is trying to give up fossil fuels.

Auto giants like Toyota, Stellantis, Renault and Hyundai-Kia are banking on hybrids, not least because they allow them to comply with EU norms on CO2 emissions at a lesser cost than fully electric cars. Greenpeace and the pressure group Transport & Environment support this school of thought. “Conventional 'full' hybrids in particular, which run for the majority of the time on fossil fuel energy, are barely any cleaner than traditional petrol and diesel engines," Greenpeace said last year, reported AFP. Marie Cheron of France's Nicolas Hulot Foundation, an environmental group, also concurred.

(Also read | Tesla Model 3 tops European car sales, becomes first EV to outsell ICE cars)

Also, it has been mentioned that production of fully electric vehicles too is entirely not green either as manufacturing the battery for these require a lot of energy. Also, the source of the electricity that the EVs use is another factor to consider. As the European Union is planning to ban the sales of petrol and diesel engine vehicles from 2035, a few automakers are trying to ensure the roles of hybrid cars. Though, it remains a wait and watch game.

  • First Published Date : 03 Nov 2021, 03:24 PM IST

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