October 21, 2013

Hybrid Not Always Greener

Testing of hybrid construction vehicles finds a reduction in fuel consumption, but an increase in harmful emissions

Hybrid technology is not necessarily greener when it comes to comparing the latest hybrid and diesel construction equipment.

That’s the main finding of a first-of-its-kind study of hybrid diesel construction equipment by researchers at the University of California, Riverside’s Bourns College of Engineering Center for Environmental Research and Technology (CE-CERT).

Manufacturers reported the hybrid dozers and excavators reduced fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent and cut smog-forming oxides of nitrogen emissions (NOx) by 30 percent. But, UC Riverside researchers found fuel savings of between 7 percent and 28 percent and NOx emission increases of up to 21 percent when compared to conventional diesel equipment.