Hybrid vehicles could slash carbon dioxide emissions by 2050

February 14th, 2009 - 6:24 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, Feb 14 (IANS) The quantum of carbon dioxide emissions from vehicles anticipated in the year 2050 could be cut down to 2000 levels if all cars on the roads were hybridised, a new study has shown.

The study also found that doubling of population density in large US cities by 2050 would have a greater impact on carbon dioxide reductions than full hybridisation of the vehicle fleet.

The study by Brian Stone, associate professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, looked at 11 major metropolitan regions of the midwestern US over a 50-year period.

He took into account three different scenarios: the use of hybrid vehicles and two different urban growth scenarios through which population density was increased over time.

“In this study we looked at two general approaches on how to deal with the challenge of climate change,” said Stone.

“One approach is to improve vehicle technology and become more efficient. We can use less gas and reduce tailpipe emissions of CO2 (carbon dioxide). The second approach is to change behavior by changing the way we design cities. We can travel less and take more walking and transit trips.”

Stone said he believes it would be possible for virtually all cars on the roads by 2050 to be hybrid electric vehicles, assuming the costs of these vehicles become more competitive with cars that have conventional engine technologies. Today’s hybrid electric vehicles can achieve 40 miles (64 km) per gallon (3.78 litres) and higher.

To meet these global targets, carbon dioxide emissions from all sectors in the US would need to return to 1990 levels or lower, said an institute release.

The study was published this month in Environmental Science and Technology.

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