While one can see that developing hybrid Camrys is going to be of some benefit, with reduced petrol consumption and therefore reduced emissions, I think we need to get a little perspective here.
What they’re saying is that the hybrid Camry will reduce consumption by about a third.
That’s certainly a start, putting it below similar-sized cars. But it would still be well above the figure of slightly smaller cars like the existing Prius.
Not to mention that some climate change experts are looking at emissions reductions of 90% or even more being necessary to prevent dangerous climate change. Cutting transport emissions by a third just isn’t going to do the job.
It should be obvious that this generation of hybrid cars can only be the first step to reducing transport emissions. The reduction for individual vehicles isn’t that big, and over time the emissions for the entire vehicle fleet needs to drop markedly. Not just the per km rate, but the rate of usage — more trips need to be moved out of cars.
And let’s hope oil prices don’t drop. It seems the repeated increases are the only thing prompting anything approaching real action.
Sources for graph:
- New cars: Green vehicle guide
- *My old car: Fuel consumption guide database.
Assumes half highway, half city driving… I can’t find the formula for the combined figure anywhere, so I hope this is right. CO2 is estimated based on other vehicles fuel to CO2. Updated: Apparently it’s based 37% urban and 63% non-urban driving. Chart modified accordingly.
- Hybrid Camry: SMH
- Average car, and public transport emissions
- Car emissions figures are divided by 1.22 (the average car occupancy rate in Melbourne) to give average emissions per person km.
- +Almost all trams and electric trains are powered by electricity from brown coal, unfortunately. Moving to green power will solve this
PS. Even a 30% cost saving in fuel is of limited benefit if the price doubles…