Civic emissions comparisons

Continuing our hybrid car discussion and using the Honda Civic as the key example, here is a comparison of emissions between styles.

Since there is no good way to link to these results, posted below are the results of the EPA Green Vehicle Guide's comparison of the 5-spd automatic Honda Civic, the Honda Civic hybrid, and the Toyota Prius.


  1. Holy crap... Blogger automatically resized the image as a thumbnail - that worked REALLY well! I'm super impressed right now.

    Note the significant difference in emissions (both air pollution and greenhouse gases) between the standard Civic and the hybrid Civic.

  2. I was surprised as well that the difference was so large; I always viewed the Civic Hybrid as a hybrid between a normal hybrid and normal car (that was a lot of hybrids).

    For the past 4 years, if I were to get a car, I always knew I'd get a Civic Hybrid. I drove a friend's in college and it drove really well (enough pick and and go to not feel like a Prius), and I felt really comfortable in it.

    PS Royce, how do you embed a link in your comments?

  3. Scott, he provided specific instructions in an email to you on how to include a link in a comment.

    Royce, I am slightly concerned that both hybrids got the scores they did. That tells me that they are the best on the road, but that they were the defining upper end of the scale. You don't think those solar powered cars that MIT and Caltech students build are actually better for the environment?

    I would love for ecologists to determine the level of emissions that would be considered neutral. That is the the level of emissions by automobiles that can be naturally cleaned by the environment, a la trees converting carbon dioxide to oxygen. We can then determine the percentage that a certain vehicle makes up of all vehicles.

    So, all the trees in the world can handle X amount of emissions, and if everyone in the world drove A car and a world of all A cars produced X emissions, then A car would receive a 10 on that scale.

    We could call it a car-tree unit, or CTU. Maybe a car-tree ratio would be better. That is the percentage of cars on the road vs. the percentage of trees needed to naturally clean those cars.

  4. You just went to crazytown on us based on the EPA ratings, but it sounds like you're saying the EPA needs to re-scale its grades. Their 10 is graded as the best thing right now, and you think that their 10 probably isn't a sustainable level of emissions.

    It is possible that their 10 already hits your CTU, is it not?

    But my favorite thing about the ratings comparison - they give you the stats. We see that the regular Civic emits 6.34 tons of greenhouse gases per year, while the Prius emits 4.02 tons. There's the data right there. We can take that (and even break it down by CO2, NOx, and whatever else) and determine for ourselves what an acceptable level of emissions is, if we so choose.

    Any electric car would crush this. So would a hydrogen fuel cell car. But of course those energies have to take into account the life cycle - how their power is first created - and that's probably beyond the EPA's functions. I'm strongly in favor of electric cars because it's smarter to regulate thousands of power plants than it is to regulate hundreds of millions of cars.

  5. Scott, I can't type the html text to create a link here without actually creating a link. It's on the Gmail.

  6. For me, this spreadsheet is actually my #1 factor in buying a car right now. Given the disparity between the regular Civic and the hybrid Civic, it is a no-brainer for me to get the hybrid despite the price gap. Plus, as we've shown, I project to own the car long enough where the hybrid pays for itself in gas savings.

    Of course price is still a factor... at $5,000 I can make this decision easily. But a Chevy Volt is going to be even better in emissions, owing to its 40 miles on pure electric, but costs $40k... so the extra $15,000 is a pretty big barrier to overcome.

  7. Apparently I didn't spell it out in the last post - emissions is my #1 factor. The non-hybrid civic emits 50% more greenhouse gases than the hybrid (6 tons/year vs. 4 tons/yr) which to me is really significant.