Watch CBS News

How Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles Help The Environment

By Lori Melton

With the ever-increasing global commitment to going green, electric vehicle (EV) car design and technology has evolved over the years. Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) are environmentally-conscious cars that utilize hybrid technology combining a gas engine, a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery and an Electric Variable Transmission (EVT) system to power the vehicle. Plug-in hybrid batteries can be charged via an outlet or charging station and can store enough electricity to run on electric-only power longer while reducing gasoline usage.

As a world-class automaker, General Motors stands at the forefront of plug-in hybrid vehicle design with Cadillac's new luxury plug-in hybrid model, the CT6 PLUG-IN. This sleekly-designed vehicle uses an innovative hybrid technology that automatically switches between gas and electric propulsion systems, depending on driving style.  If you're considering an eco-friendly car, here are some great environmental benefits of driving a plug-in hybrid vehicle, like the CT6 PLUG-IN.

Reduced Petroleum Use

Plug-in hybrid vehicles reportedly use approximately 30 to 60 percent less petroleum than conventional gas-powered automobiles. Benefits here are two-fold. First, less natural resources are being used when the car is traveling in electric mode. Second, using less petroleum reduces the number of toxic vapors released when gasoline evaporates. Plus, when gas burns it produces air pollutants like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. If less gas is used, then less of these harmful substances is emitted into the atmosphere.

Furthermore, the CT6 PLUG-IN's automatic regenerative braking feature recaptures energy during braking and coasting. This energy is then converted to electrical energy which is stored in the battery for later use. This means less energy will need to be used via an external charging source. Combining a high-output 2.0L Turbo 4-cylinder engine, a Lithium-ion battery and a two-motor Electric Variable Transmission (EVT) increases the CT6 PLUG-IN's total range to 440 miles if fully-charged and fully-fueled. The electric-only range is notably an EPA estimated 31 miles.

Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emission

Per the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions from human activities in the U.S. comes from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat and transportation. Plug-in hybrid vehicles typically produce less greenhouse gas emissions than a conventional car. This means these cars have less of a negative impact on global warming. The amount of greenhouse gas emissions generated also correlates to how the electricity in the vehicle is produced. If a plug-in hybrid's electricity is produced by a green source like solar power or wind, then the greenhouse gas emission reduction would be even higher.

Lower Fuel Costs And Less Dependence On Foreign Oil

Driving a plug-in hybrid vehicle with larger capacity batteries uses electric power more frequently than gas power. Plus, if you have access to a charging station or outlet, you can recharge the battery. So, you could potentially use all electric power during a PHEV trip and no gas at all. Thus, fuel costs are ultimately lowered and finally, spending less money on gas and filling up the gas tank less frequently also helps lower our country's dependence on foreign oil.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.