The Hybrid-engine cars currently available in the UK are only as good as other vehicles where their manufacturer has taken steps to decrease CO2 emissions, such as using stop-start technology, a survey from cleangreencars.co.uk has discovered.
It has also been noted that in America, where diesel fuelled cars are quite rare, the enthusiasm for hybrids might well be justified, since they are less polluting than a petrol alternative.
Jay Nagley, publisher of cleangreencars.co.uk, commented: "People may be surprised to learn that hybrids are no better in the real world than diesels, but our tests confirmed what we had long suspected.
"Hybrid technology offers the prospect of real benefits, but only with the next generation of plug-in hybrids using more advanced lithium-ion batteries which are expected from 2010. Current models only confer dinner-party bragging rights."
Richard Bremner, editor of the website, says: "We are not anti-hybrids. The concept offers the prospect of genuine fuel saving with models, promised from 2010, that will drive up to 40 miles on electric charge."
In the meantime, both petrol and diesel car owners can save money, and the planet, by driving to reduce harsh braking and acceleration, decreasing the weight on-board by clearing unnecessary luggage and by using air conditioning units during high speed travel only – low speed, round town trips can be made with the windows open!