Friday, January 4, 2008

The truth about hybrids

I've been dissing hybrid-electric vehicles today, but it's been partly tongue-in-cheek and mostly just pointing out the politics and stupidity associated with them.
The fact is, I think electric vehicles are going to play a bigger role than they have in the past, but I DON'T think they will replace conventional vehicles; although some people will certainly use them for their primary transportation, just as some people now use a motorcycle or even a motorscooter as primary transportation. It depends on individual needs; I don't think someone with a 100 mile round trip commute is gonna be served in the near future by an EV, nor is a farmer who needs to haul heavy loads and may be on (and off) the road for most of the day. On the other hand, a suburbanite who drives 3 miles to work may indeed be well served by an EV as their primary vehicle.
I think hybrid vehicles are going to become more prevalent too, but not in their current (no pun intended) configuration. In fact, I think most of the people who are now buying hybrids will be buying EVs instead, while hybrids will lose the politics and become more mainstream by having a smaller electrical drive system, using highly efficient capacitors instead of batteries, and with the electrical component being in a support role rather than being in the forefront. Perhaps a front-wheel-drive, small turbodiesel that runs fulltime and is capable of powering the vehicle by itself, with the addition of an electric drive in the rear to assist with acceleration and braking (regenerative) and add all-wheel-drive traction, but without the capability of moving the vehicle very far without the engine.

1 comment:

theotherryan said...
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