Thursday, July 24, 2008

Plug In Hybrids

Forget about Hydrogen cars, and Electric cars. In the near future the big change will be to plug in hybrids. This is where you take a hybrid car, then alter it so you can charge the battery from the electrical grid rather than burning gasoline. This allows you to make all short trips using only electricity from the grid. This might not sound that amazing, but coal, natural gas, and nuclear power plants are a lot more efficient than the engine in your car while using cheaper fuel. This means that for these short trips you spend less than a tenth of the cost for energy that you do with a conventional car(a cent or two a mile, verses twenty to twenty five cents a mile for a gasoline car). I wouldn't be surprised if you could even operate the car on solar power for less than the cost of operating a normal gasoline car.

For long distances, you will be using mostly gasoline, like a typical car, getting the gas mileage of a typical hybrid. This means that unlike straight electric cars, you can get the best of both worlds. I would never buy an all electric car. When I want to drive 3000 miles I want my car to be capable of it. The plug in hybrids work on long trips, and is phenomenally cheap to operate for short trips. It is therefore the only example I know of where a car is made cheaper to operate, better for the environment, and doesn't lose utility. It is more expensive to create, so I am less certain the early models over a six year period would end up cheaper or more expensive than a traditional car. However if gas stays high I am betting they will work well. The major car companies are starting to take this idea seriously, so the first commercial ones should be available in around 2010. By then maybe ill have the money to buy one.

1 comment:

Adamgv said...
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