I find the ‘green’ assertions of hybrid cars to be something of a misnomer. While, yes, emissions are reduced from non-point source entities like cars, that pollution is only displaced. The energy to power the battery inside the hybrid has to come from somewhere, namely the burning of more fossil fuels at power plants, effectively negating the benefits of a hybrid car.
I do believe that hybrids are a step in the right direction. However, their source of energy needs to be a cleaner and more sustainable process before we can truly label them ‘green’. Already, some hybrids use braking energy to transfer power back to the battery, but a more viable source of energy generation is necessary as this does not wholly recharge the battery. Using solar panels on the roof is one solution, however, the efficiency at which current technology captures the suns radiation and turns it into energy is very poor and not feasible yet to completely reduce the hybrids dependence on the energy grid.
Until more technologies become available to truly turn the automobile into a sustainable, emission free method of transportation, buyer beware: it’s not that ‘green’. Hybrids are just that, a cross combination of displaced pollution sources.