I briefly mentioned this on other related posts concerning hybrids and MPG. But driving habits of the average commuter is far from optimum for MPG. In fact, I see most all hybrids blow past me on the freeway doing 75+ MPH. I ask you, how are they optimizing the technology when they have the accelerator pushed to the floor?
Even more amazing to me is the guy that insists on being first and I always seem to catch up to him driving a modest 60 MPH in my 45 year old car! He may get better MPG than I in regards to technology, but not by much. If the ICE is going to be around another 50 years and the MPG requirement conitues to rise, automakers have to take the driving away from the driver. I object to this vehmently, but I cannot see any way around the driving habits. I think people go and buy a hybrid, expecting 50 MPG, get disgusted that they are lucky to top 30 MPG, and then blame the automaker. No one takes responsibility for their own actions and only the force of government (in the form of CAFE) makes our cars small, wimpish, and plastic! We all be driving a Renault Robin (check out the top gear video, hilarious).
The advantages of start-stop operation and regenerative braking are big pluses, as well as avoiding the range issues. And if volume of the plug-in hybrids start to spike, you can see where it would gain significant momentum. Excellent post, Chuck.
This makes a lot of sense, as there are still limitations to pure EVs that just aren't practical for the average car driver. But hopefully as battery technology improves, the interest in EVs will be on the rise again. Plug-in hybrids are still a better and more energy efficient option than gasoline-powered cars, but they still depend on the electrical grid for their recharge, making them overall less energy efficient. Someday it would be great if pure EVs had the same or even greater range and feature sets as hybrids.
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