Here come the hybrids!

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Bob BestPosted by:
Bob Best
Energy and Sustainability Services

Over this past weekend I went to the Chicago Auto Show, expecting to see the newest in all-electric vehicles.  I did not see many at all.

But, I did notice a different trend … nearly every car manufacturer now has a hybrid.  Toyota, Chevrolet, Ford, Lexus … even Porsche and Mercedes.

What’s happening?

I think we are entering the “Age of the Hybrids” as sort of gap between 100% gasoline-powered cars and all-electric vehicles.  Clearly, we are not ready for the all-electrics.  There are few cars out there to buy and the electric charging station infrastructure is just not there yet.  People have “range anxiety” and are not willing to jump into an all-electric vehicle for fear that they are going to run out of juice in the most unfortunate of circumstances.

What’s the answer?

It’s looking like the answer is hybrids, that take advantage of electric power to boot gas mileage, but don’t leave you high and dry in the current EV charging station desert.

It makes a lot of sense.  People start driving plug-in hybrids for the next few years, as the charging station network grows and, hopefully, battery technology improves the range of electric cars.  Maybe in 3-5 years, the hybrids will get pushed aside by the all-electrics.

In the meantime, here’s to a happy marriage between hydro-carbons and electrons.  I don’t think the marriage will last forever, but for now … it’s not a bad thing.

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