I Bet You’re Excited About Plug-in Hybrids

One of the most promising “save the world” vehicles is the plug-in hybrid.  Much of the allure of these cars comes from the fact they’re not borne of some super technology or some untested alternative fuel, but from the fact that at their very core, all they are is essentially a combination of the best features of both electric and gasoline powered cars.

After charging, plug-in hybrids have the ability to run for long periods of time exclusively on batteries, which obviously reduces gasoline consumption and harmful emissions.  They are also able to drive as “regular” fuel efficient gas powered cars, so you don’t have to stop every 200 miles to recharge the car’s batteries.

For as cool as these cars are, will people actually buy them once they hit the market?  After all, there have been a countless number of products that consumers thought were neat, but weren’t really interested in purchasing.

So, is it worth it for the reeling auto industry to invest in infrastructure necessary to mass produce these cars?  According to a recent poll, not only is it worth it for car makers to do so, but it would probably stupid for them not to do so.

When asked, “Will you consider purchasing a plug-in hybrid when they become widely available?” nearly 200 Daily Fuel Economy Tip readers responded in the following manner:

  • 52% said yes
  • 19% said probably
  • 14% said not sure
  • 10% said no
  • 5% said doubtful

Before you leave an angry comment, I do realize these results are slightly skewed due to the fact this poll was conducted on a site frequented by people who are interested in getting the best fuel economy possible.  However, the fact that over 70% of these respondents showed pretty strong interest in plug-in hybrids says a lot.

In fact, it’s not just Daily Fuel Economy Tip readers who are sold on the idea of of plug-in hybrids.  For example, part of each Presidential candidate’s energy policy focuses on getting more plug-in hybrids on the roads through the use of hefty tax credits and business incentives.  (Click here for Barack Obama’s ideas.  Click here for John McCain’s ideas.)

Additionally, the current administration is about to approve $25 billion in low interest loans for the American auto industry in an effort to help them convert truck and SUV plants into facilities which produce smaller, more fuel efficient cars.  Hopefully the Big 3 will take the hint and use much of this money to churn out a bunch of plug-in hybrids.

After all, I’m pretty sure we can all agree the days of people lining up to buy trucks and SUVs are coming to an end pretty rapidly.  Hopefully the days of people lining up to buy mass produced plug-in hybrids are right around the corner!

Comments

  1. Still think that plug-in hybrids exacerbate the shortage of electricity generating capacity in the US. Add to that the horrible and aging condition of the transmission grid, and you guarantee outages and unprecedented breakdowns of the system.

    It’s a really bad idea to do something that causes yet another huge problem.

    We should eliminate the spark ignition gasoline engine and immediately switch to turbodiesels, and also dramatically lighten the structural configuration of all our ground transportation vehicles. That would drop oil consumption directly by upping conversion efficiency by 60% while reducing weight by 40%.

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