We recently converted our hybrid Toyota Prius to a 'plug-in hybrid'. This makes it one step 'greener' than a stock Prius. Here's some info on the topic:
1. Environmental Impact
A plug-in charged from grid electricity of the average national blend results in a 70% or greater reduction in CO2 emissions compared to a traditional gas-powered vehicle. If the Lithium-ion battery is charged from electricity generated entirely by coal-fired power plants, there is still a net CO2 emissions reduction of at least 50%.
As our national blend of electricity generation progresses towards greener generation sources, such as solar and wind, the environmental benefits of plug-in hybrids will continue to grow. The Lithium-ion battery is also environmentally friendly and recyclable, containing no heavy metals or toxic chemicals.
2. Petroleum reduction
Plug-in hybrid vehicles reduce oil consumption by up to 70% over conventional, gas powered vehicles. Upgrading to a plug-in hybrid will result in a significant reduction in petroleum consumption on an individual vehicle basis. With widespread adoption, plug-in hybrids present the potential to reduce national oil consumption while using today’s existing infrastructure – the grid.
The Set America Free coalition, an advocacy group focused on energy independence and GHG reduction points out that "if all cars on the road are hybrids and half are plug-in hybrid vehicles, U.S. oil imports would drop by 8 million barrels per day."
3. National Security
Widespread adoption of plug-in hybrid technology can help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Plug-in hybrids enable us to reduce our consumption of foreign-sourced petroleum and allow us to rely more on electricity generated at home using our current infrastructure.
Plug-in hybrid technology can also help us take advantage of off-peak electricity generation by charging vehicles overnight when electricity demand is low. Moving towards a more electric vehicle platform allows us to work towards vehicle-to-grid technologies and a more redundant and fault tolerant grid.
For more on HAC's committment to the environment, take a look here. For more about hybrids and the rapidly-developing technologies behind them, take a look at some of these links:
|HybridCars.com is part web journal, part online community and part hybrid market research organization.||Learn about the Honda Insight and what makes it so unique.|
|New Hybrid Tax Credits 2006 Find out the latest on tax credits for hybrid cars.||Follow this link for a short Prius video on the Discovery Channel|
|Read Oregonian columnist Chip Keen on hybrid cars|
|Hybrid sales zip into the fast lane||Toyota press release|
|The Money-saving Perks of Hybrid Cars||Ford Escape Hybrid|
February 4, 2010. Here's an interesting
article about the Prius 'unintended acceleration' issue: