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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Economics, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Article
  • Data

Regional Focus


Hybrid Cars

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  • This article outlines the role of hybrid vehicles as a climate solution and provides details on the potential impact of hybrids to lower greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
  • Students will learn about the benefits of hybrid cars compared to internal-combustion engine vehicles and how hybrids can support a transition to fully-electric cars.
Teaching Tips


  • This article gives a thorough description of what makes hybrid cars a good mid-term solution in the transportation sector, while also providing comparisons to other related solutions.
  • It provides two different scenarios to show varying levels of an increased adoption of hybrid vehicles.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Familiarity with the term ICE, or internal combustion car, would be helpful before reading this article.
  • A basic understanding of units of measurement used in the article, such as gigatons and passenger-kilometers, are important to discuss for further comprehension.


  • This article is written in a scientific paper format, which could be used in language arts or science classes practicing writing scientific papers or reading research papers.
  • Provide students with a graphic organizer that allows them to take notes on the similarities and differences between electric, plug-in, hybrid, and combustion vehicles. Have them use information from the introduction of this article or other resources about vehicles with lower impacts on climate change.
  • Economics classes could discuss factors that relate to the adoption of this solution, including purchasing cost, maintenance, tax incentives, and fuel costs.
  • Using the links provided in the article, have students research and then compare other transportation solutions, such as bicycle infrastructure, electric cars, and carpooling, focusing on factors such as emissions, space requirements, and energy efficiency.
  • Pair students up and provide them with time to research the related solutions listed below the article, either allowing groups to choose their topics or assigning topics for a jigsaw share-out.
Scientist Notes
This resource allows students to understand the role of hybrid cars in mitigating CO2 emissions from the transportation sector. It provides a clear analysis of hybrid car technology and adoption scenarios. It also integrates factors influencing the scale-up and adoption of this technology such as fixed cost, insurance, purchasing cost, maintenance, and fuel cost into the model. This resource is insightful, comprehensive, and recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Economics
      • D2.Eco.1.9-12 Analyze how incentives influence choices that may result in policies with a range of costs and benefits for different groups.
      • D2.Eco.13.9-12 Explain why advancements in technology and investments in capital goods and human capital increase economic growth and standards of living.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; summarize complex concepts, processes, or information presented in a text by paraphrasing them in simpler but still accurate terms.
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