How things change. Just a decade or so ago, hybrid vehicles appealed primarily to environmental enthusiasts. As a result, the market was small. Today, hybrid cars are mainstream and legitimate choices for just about anyone that is looking for run of the mill transportation. And today, most of the major car manufacturers have one or more hybrid models in their lineup.

Funny thing is that now that hybrids are so common, some of the original driving forces behind their adoption are less well known. The fact is that "driving green" has some tremendous environmental benefits and they bear repeating. Here are the top five.

1)      Less Air Pollution

It shouldn't be a big surprise that automobiles are a major contributor to atmospheric pollution. In 2015, cars and trucks in the United States produced more than half of the nitrous oxides, carbon dioxide and other pollutants emitted into the air. Because hybrid cars run primarily on electricity, the cars themselves produce almost no noxious gases. There is the argument that the pollution is just relocated to where the electricity is produced but in the case of renewable sources, St. Clair Chrysler (St. Clair, MI) says the argument is valid.

2)      Improved Gas Mileage

Because hybrid powertrains combine electrical and gasoline power sources, engineers can optimize them for very high gas mileage. In general, hybrid vehicles yield gas mileages that are 20 to 30 percent greater than traditional vehicles. Over the life of a vehicle, this can amount to considerable cost savings.

3)      Reduced Dependence on Foreign Oil

Most hybrids are designed to use a minimal amount of gasoline during operation. Typically they use electrical power to start off and then switch to gas for longer trips. This means that the vehicles use just a small amount of gas over their life. Obviously this is a good thing because less gasoline consumption means less petroleum needs to be imported into the US.

4)      Reduced Noise Pollution

Traditional internal combustion vehicles are known for creating high noise levels. Unfortunately, this is difficult to keep under control with internal combustion engines. Gas and diesel engines are simply noisy. Hybrid cars solve this problem by running on noiseless electrical power. For the times where the gasoline engine is used, features such as engine idle technology and energy recycling, contribute to low noise.

5)      Decreased Oil Drilling

Oil drilling and general production is messy and polluting. Just consider fracking; there are real concerns that fracking is going to pollute our ground water supplies. Obviously, less oil usage leads to less drilling and this is a good thing.

The Bottom Line

Hybrid cars have much to offer both the owner and the environment. The technology isn't unusual now, it's mainstream. Prices are also much lower than they originally were. If you care to boast about the wonderful things that hybrids bring to the environment, feel free to use the previous five bullet pointed facts.

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