DRIVEN EXPLAINS PART 3: Why are we talking about carbon emissions so much?
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It seems like we’re all talking about “carbon emissions” these days, but for many of us that’s worryingly close to jargon. If you don’t fully understand it, don’t worry – you’re not alone.
Here’s how it works. If your car runs on petrol, diesel or even biofuel, every time you start the engine it produces carbon dioxide, or CO2, from the exhaust pipe. Every litre of fuel you burn emits CO2 into the atmosphere.
CO2 is a major factor to the “greenhouse effect”, trapping the sun’s energy in an atmospheric bubble and contributing to climate change.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles use an electric motor at assist during driving, which means the petrol engine uses less fuel and therefore emits less CO2 into the air.
Worldwide, passenger cars produced roughly three billion metric tonnes of CO2 in 2020, so carmakers are keenly aware that they need to innovate to reverse this trend by producing vehicles that emit less CO2.
Many brands are embracing hybrid technology, but Toyota was one of the pioneers in this way of thinking. Since launching its first hybrid in the late-1990s (the Prius), this brand alone has saved 143 million tonnes of CO2, when compared with the emissions that would have been generated by equivalent vehicles powered solely by petrol engines.
Locally, over the last five years, Toyota NZ has reduced CO2 emissions across its fleet by over 14 per cent.
Hybrids save you money at the pump, of course, but they genuinely reduce the amount of air pollution thanks to their exceptionally low carbon emissions. It’s fuel for thought when buying your next car.