Do hybrids and pure electric cars help reduce CO2 emissions? Not in China, according to Tatehito Ueda, a managing officer at Toyota Motor Corp, in this article from Reuters. The problem, as you might expect, is how China produces its electricity (mostly from coal). Ueda told Reuters, "In France, 80 percent of electricity is produced by nuclear stations so if electric cars replace fossil fuel cars then you have a clear reduction in the emission of CO2. But in China they make electricity by burning coal, so China is not the place for electric cars."

Ueda is exactly right when he criticizes powering cars from coal, but I'm not sure about the hybrid charge. And, while I don't have the information in front of me right now, I heard at some point over the weekend (at the Santa Monica Alt Car Expo) that using coal instead of petrol is, on the whole, cleaner. I'm willing to be proven wrong on this point, as it was just something I think I remember hearing.

Anyway, back in China, Ueda says that the simple fixes, like reduced running resistance tires, will be the way Toyota cuts emissions in its Chinese cars.

[Source: Reuters]

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