If you use your car to get around a lot, upgrading to a hybrid or fully electric vehicle can help you save money and improve air quality in your neighbourhood.
With their smooth, quiet ride and fast pick up, it’s little wonder that more people are choosing to drive electric and hybrid - experts predict that half of all vehicle sales will be hybrids or electric before 2040.
What you choose to drive will help to move the global market away from fossil fuels and cut your own carbon pollution.
To find the one that’s right for you, it’s helpful to understand the difference between fully electric, hybrid and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) cars. Both hybrid and PHEV cars incorporate a gas / petrol powered engine, while the fully electric vehicle uses a battery only.
Most of us drive less than 40 miles (64 km) per day. With an average range of 186 miles (311 km), an electric car will get you where you want to go. If you drive longer trips, a hybrid will give you the best of both worlds.
Even if you aren’t in a position to buy or lease one, you can still take it for a test drive. It’s good to start researching early - and it lets the industry know people are interested. Or take a step to Get Around Greener instead.
Air pollution is a problem in many parts of the world, causing health issues in people of all ages. Using electric and hybrid vehicles reduces air pollution so we can all breathe easier.
They also cut carbon emissions. It would take roughly 5.6 acres (2.27 hectares) of forest one whole year to absorb the carbon of only one regular gas / petrol powered vehicle.
By 2050, hybrid cars could reduce carbon emissions by nearly 5 gigatons and save US$2.2 trillion in fuel costs. Electric cars could save over US$21 trillion in fuel costs and reduce carbon emissions by nearly 16 gigatons - that’s like turning off the world’s coal power plants for one and a half years.
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How Do Plug-In Hybrid Electric Cars Work?
Projections of hybrid and electric cars indicate they could account for two thirds of all new vehicle sales by 2040.
Assuming there are 1.2 billion electric cars on the road worldwide by 2050, 15.7 gigatons of carbon dioxide from fuel combustion could be avoided as well as savings of US$21.3 trillion in reduced costs (assuming each vehicle would save a total of US17,832.)
Assuming there are 236 million hybrid cars on the road worldwide by 2050, 4.6 gigatons of carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion could be avoided and each vehicle would save a total of US$9,661 on fuel.
There were 10 million electric cars on the world’s roads at the end of 2020, following a decade of rapid growth. Electric car registrations increased by 41% in 2020.
16 gigatons of emissions is equal to the annual emissions of 1.6 years of operations for all coal power plants operational on earth as of 2019
The average daily passenger car trip in the US is 40 miles in the US, and the average EU trip is 20 km.
A passenger car is estimated to produce 4.6 metric tons of carbon from annual fuel usage, requiring 2.27 hectares of forest to sequester the emissions.
Impact metric calculations
To determine the carbon emission reduction estimates related to switching to an electric car or hybrid car, the following calculations were performed:
Fossil Fuel Car: (miles/week) / (miles/gallon) x (kg CO2e/gallon) x (weeks/month) = kg CO2e / month
Lower Emitting Car (electric or hybrid): (miles/week) x (country-dependent kg CO2e/mile) x (weeks/month) = kg CO2e / month
Total: Fossil Fuel Car -Lower Emitting Car (electric or hybrid) = kg CO2e / month
For detailed calculations, references and assumptions, please see our Methodology.