Electric/Hybrid-Plugin

by ryh80 - 4/26/07 4:25 PM

In Reply to: What's your favorite alternative fuel? by wcunning CNET staff

I drive a 2003 Civic Hybrid. I've already driven about 100,000 miles and I love it. I loved it more as I saw the fuel price rise from $1.23 to $2.90 here in VA. In the 5 years that I've driven 100,000 miles, I've gotten a realistic 40mpg, which is close to 1/2 the average vehicle in the US. That means I've conserved about 50,000 miles worth of fuel, and that feels great.

But I saw a documentary titled, "Who killed the electric car?", which made me realize that hybrids are yet a compromise. GM had a viable electric car that people were lining up for, and they were improving the battery to go from 60mi to 200mi per charge. But the only reason they created and leased that vehicle was because they had to comply with a zero-emissions ruling in California. That was back in 1996. Imagine what the technological advances to that electric car would have been in the last 11 years! It would be very easy for GM to bring back the electric car, with today's improved technology, and begin distribution. But it's not in their interest to release a vehicle that requires far less maintenance and cost. Since the large companies won't make it, smaller companies like Tesla have to create the vehicle. But they can't easily institute electric charging stations across the country for 10 minute charges to charge 85% capacity.

If one were to purchase a brand new Toyota Prius and get the $10,000 plug-in system installed on it, they could get 150mpg right now, with today's car. That would be a new Toyota for $30,000 that gets 150mpg.

Currently, the Prius w/Plugin is the best. But an electric car would be the best solution (I hear Tesla is designing a family vehicle for under $50,000). Too bad the large car companies won't make and sell it.