The NRDC study says that in regions heavily dependent on energy from coal, "there is a possibility for significant increases of soot and mercury" given an increase in PHEVs. The NRDC study also says that when charged with electricity produced by a coal plant, PHEVs have "higher global warming pollution compared to a non-pluggable hybrid electric vehicle." The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency study found that "a PHEV has marginally lower emissions for all emittants, except CO 2 and SO 2." The increase in SO 2 emissions is 182 percent "due to the high sulfur content of the coal combusted to generate electricity."
When will the alarms trigger? Are PHEVs headed for the same U-turn of support from the green community that biofuels ran into?
[Source: USA Today]