Hybrids are up to 21 times better than full EVs at reducing emissions, researchers claim

Buying hybrid vehicles is a more efficient way of reducing CO2 emissions than getting a fully electric vehicle, according to an independent emissions-testing organisation.

It claims that full EVs are 21 times worse at reducing CO2 than mild hybrids, which use a small battery and electric motor to take the strain off an internal combustion engine (ICE), and 14 times worse than a hybrid such as the Toyota Prius, which can run a short distance on electric alone.

Emissions Analytics (EA) calculated the CO2 reduction per unit of battery size by dividing the carbon dioxide savings of a vehicle compared with a non-electrified model by the average battery capacity of each type of electrified vehicle.

It found that a battery-electric vehicle saved just 3.5g/km of CO2 per kWh of battery capacity, compared with 73.9 for mild hybrids and 50.5 for full hybrids.

There is currently a scarcity of lithium-ion batteries of a high enough quality for all-electric vehicles, which is causing a huge backlog and leaving customers waiting more than 12 months for vehicles to be delivered in some cases.

Hybrids are 14 times better than battery electric vehicles at reducing CO2 real-world emissions – https://t.co/4V60fn0pkN AllowAIR #emissions#airquality#hybridvehicles#AIRIndex#electricvehiclespic.twitter.com/amTMXGYqa2

— Emissions Analytics (@E_Analytics) June 13, 2019

EA says that because of this, encouraging motorists into electrified hybrids that use smaller batteries is a more efficient way of reducing global CO2 emissions.

In a report, it says: “As cumulative CO2 emissions are important for climate change – due to the long life of the gas in the atmosphere – a smaller reduction per vehicle now, but across many more hybrid vehicles, would eliminate a far greater volume of CO2 than applying the scarce battery resource to a smaller number of EVs.”