Hybrids may not be the right choiceÂ… yet

As rising fuel bills present a case for hybrid cars, new research has shown that some may not save many more emissions that diesel models.

According to a new report from Clean Green Cars, current hybrids while may not hold any significant savings or CO2 advantage over their diesel counterparts.

Fuel consumption figures revealed that diesel models generally used less fuel and therefore emitted less CO2 and saved consumers money.

The Toyota Prius ran on 39.9 mpg compared to the Jeep Patriot on 38.9 mpg in a driving environment involving urban, dual carriageway and motorway driving.

Jay Nagley, Publisher of Clean Green Cars, said that consumers may be surprised by the results of their study.

"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," he said.

The test also studied the Honda Civic and the Ford Focus Econetic with the Civic registering 40.2 mpg and the Ford registering 52.7 mpg.

Richard Bremmer, editor of Clean Green Cars, was keen to point out that Britain should not be against hybrids – which are particularly popular in the states – because the concept offers could prospects.

But he warned that it may be until 2010 before consumers are able to see a hybrid drive up to 40 miles on an electronic charge.

"For your next new car, we would generally recommend an economical conventional engine – for the one after that a hybrid may make sense," he explained.

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