Greenhouse emissions will be greatly reduced if car owners switch to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, according to a new study released Thursday.
The study looked at what would happen when plug-in hybrid electric vehicles -- which recharge from conventional electrical outlets and use gas tanks as a backup power source -- shift emissions from cars' tailpipes to utility grids.
The study was conducted by the Electric Power Research Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council.
It found that the widespread adoption of plug-in hybrids could reduce annual emissions of greenhouse gases from vehicles by more than 450 million metric tons by 2050, the equivalent of removing 82 million passenger cars from the road.
"With the support of the public, we believe someday millions of Americans will fill up their vehicles at the plug instead of the pump, saving money and improving the environment," said the study.
"Electricity is the only alternative transportation fuel with a national infrastructure already built and connected to every garage,"it said.