The small diesel is the answer currently for environmentally friendly motoring.
You can buy something with 100 horsepower (or thereabouts), 0-60 in around 11 seconds, a 120 mph top speed, 120g/km CO2 output (or less) and a genuine 50-55 miles per gallon for barely a five figure outlay.
When the government eventually sees sense, you'll be able to run it on renewable fuel without being prosecuted too. Hybrids are an over complex, over priced and questionable solution at best. They only make sense when sitting in gridlock (use no fuel when stationary).
The ultimate red herring. When you take into account the battery chemicals and all the additional complexity of the drivetrain, the manufacturing process uses more energy, emits more CO2 and involves more toxic materials than an equivalent petrol or diesel car. This additional environmental cost is never compensated for by the marginal emission and fuel savings of these cars during their lives.
The hybrid is pointless beyond conscience protection / fashion.
Yeah, so I bought a Hummer instead. She's a beaut. I got 7 miles per gallon and everyone on the road wants me dead.
I hope the above comment is a joke because I'd hate to think that anyone could be that sad/stupid/idiotic/malicious [delete as desired].
Using excessive oil simply makes the problem worse than it already is and will ruin the planet for our children.
I can understand why people want Hummer drivers dead - or more reasonably, ban this most pointless vehicle from being built at all. Let's be honest, it's just a penis substitute.
As a final comment, I can achieve better emissions from my small diesel (over 70mpg (imperial) on the motorway) than can be done by any IMA at a fraction the cost and complexity.
Hybrid cars need to be driven differently to diesels to get good mileage. However, people have been getting consistent 120 MPG (UK) in Honda Insights in the US, which is a lot better than you might get in a diesel. Also, with a battery pack upgrade ($3-4000), you can then make it a 'plug in hybrid', which can go maybe 30-40 miles on a charge of electricity. Using mains electricity will still reduce emissions considerably compared to any petrol / diesel car, but using renewable energy e.g. solar panels can make the car have zero impact on the environment.
The other 'holy grail' of environmental friendliness is running on 'SVO (straight vegetable oil) in a diesel engine. This needs very little processing, while biodiesel creates pollution simply by the processing it needs. Older diesel engines can often run on SVO without problem. New diesel engines are all 'common rail', which means they will be destroyed in seconds by vegetable oil, and will cost thousands to repair.
So, to summarise - if driven correctly, the Insight will be helping the environment (as well as costing very little to run), more so than diesel cars.
For tips on getting good mileage (in any car, including hybrids), it would be a good idea to visit a forum based around this topic, two of the most well known being www.gassavers.org, and www.cleanmpg.com.
In answer to the above post as far as impacting the environment, the batteries in all those hybrids have NO disposal system in place, anywhere! For now, all they can do is stockpile them in disposal sites until they figure out what to do with them; rather like nuclear waste. All those whom are in love with the hybrid, should now see what they are really doing to the environment. New modern diesels are the answer, and diesel fuel takes less energy to refine than gasoline, PERIOD!
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