4
$\begingroup$

How do hybrid cars reduce carbon emissions (wouldn't they just transfer fuel emissions to electricity consumption?)

Doing an accounting project on upgrading fuel supplied cars to hybrids and we're spending a lot of money to set up charging stations. But i got to thinking wouldn't the fuel save just transfer into energy consumed?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure whether this is on-topic here or not. It's been covered elsewhere on the network, on Sustainability.SE and here , on skeptics.se, and a bit on physics.se $\endgroup$ – EnergyNumbers Oct 27 '14 at 8:53
  • $\begingroup$ (I agree it's at least boundary off-topic here.) 1st: You recuperate energy from breaking and downhills. 2nd: You don't spend fuel in traffic jams (this is the most important thing IMHO). 3rd: You can use atoms, Sahara sun one day maybe etc., whatever energy source to have electricity, but only oil to have combustion. $\endgroup$ – yo' Oct 27 '14 at 10:39
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @tohecz and everyone - please join in the related meta discussion $\endgroup$ – EnergyNumbers Oct 27 '14 at 11:37
  • $\begingroup$ @Ivan the main difference is that the new electrical energy consumed has less cost (and less emissions) because it comes from a power plant and not your car+gasoline. I've seen estimates that powering cars entirely from electricity would result in about 80% less carbon emissions due to vehicles. Though, that is for commuter vehicles only as far as I know. The key to this is that burning gasoline in a car only captures about 8% of the chemical energy in the fuel, which is very inefficient. $\endgroup$ – farrenthorpe Oct 27 '14 at 18:44