Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Hybrid Hysteria

Ok, really, this hybrid shit has GOT to stop. Yes, I get that you can make an all electric car that hauls ass and takes names for a mere $125,000. And strictly from a “wow, that is SO cool” perspective, I have to say, wow, that is so cool. But come on, can we PLEASE get real? And I don’t mean “real” as in a Toyota Prius. Are you kidding me? The NEXT generation, that will be out in TWO YEARS does 12.5 miles per charge?

Here, I have an idea, why don’t you take the Smartcar, and actually MAKE it smart, rip out that crappy little (but still overpowered) gasser and put in a nice electric motor and… oh, someone did that? AHHH, that’s the stuff. Seats two, 71 mile range, top speed 62 mph, 0-60mph is not published, but I heard that 0-30mph is ~6 seconds.

It  will never sell, at least not in the U.S. Americans love their gas guzzling rockets; a two seater that can’t do 0-60mph in under 10 seconds (hell, under 7) is doomed. Me personally? I don’t see it as a chick drawing, testosterone generator, I see it as a way to get from point A to point B efficiently, and thus cheaply. I can’t recall the last time that I travelled at speeds in excess of 40mph in a car. Almost all of my driving is around town, and when I go to see Melanie and Rick (120 miles) I jump on the motorcycle and take the scenic route. And if I need to go when there is ice on the roads, I can rent a compact car cheaply for a day or two.

My only concern is trivial, and that's GPS and cell phone charging. :D When I am in the truck and I need to charge something, I just plug it in. But in an all electric I would be thinking “How much distance does charging this device cost me?” Yes, its so negligible that it defies measurement, but that's how my brain works.

Anyway, its a frakkin souped up golf cart, and you know, for <$20,000 I’ll take one.

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1 comment:

  1. Honda Clarity

    240 miles on one hydrogen fuel cell. Not quite what you're looking for (particularly since we don't have recharging stations on this side of the Mississippi), but a step away from petroleum fuel.

    Honda also has some decent hybrids. I was looking (today) at the volkswagen website again, and it turns out the new TDI's only get about 40 mpg. I'm kinda not interested anymore. What I really want is not entirely disimilar to what you describe. I want an electric that will do 70 miles per hour and go 200 miles between charges. I live in the city, which pretty much means either it's within walking distance or I need to take the highway. They don't make that, so I want a diesel that gets 50+ miles per gallon. Otherwise, I'll get a hybrid.

    The Honda Insight gets 40 city/43 highway to the Jetta TDI's 30/42. I'm a big proponent of diesel, but in this case I'll take the hybrid. Kerry can drive it to work and get 40 mpg, and we can drive it to Albany and get 43. I agree that the difference between 42 and 43 is realistically zero, but 30 and 40 are worlds apart.

    If I was going to get two new cars, I'd get one of each. Kerry would take the Honda to work every day, and I'd use the Jetta to do... whatever. If I have to go to the mall or Home Depot, I'm still getting the same mileage I would in the Honda. If I'm just hopping across the bridge to buy soda, I'm getting 30, which isn't great, but it's not awful.

    I agree that it is well past time for this hybrid nonsense to end. By that I mean calling the Prius a hybrid. The fact that the a/c runs on a battery doesn't mean you're being environment-friendly. And yes, 12.5 miles per charge is revolting, especially when Honda has one that goes more than 200.

    Also, check out the Nissan Leaf. It's an electric that does 90 and handles like a V6. It goes 100 miles on a charge. Granted, it takes 18 hours to recharge, but that's from zero. If I'm driving 100 miles, I'm staying put long enough to charge back up. Still waiting to see these quick-charge stations they're talking about. I think there's one (1) in the Albany area, but it's in some hobbyist's garage or something.

    I wonder how much the gas station will charge to "fill-up" an electric car? They can't just give it to you for free. Well, I suppose they could at first, given the number of them that will actually drive through in an average week (I'm betting one), but as soon as they start servicing five or more electric cars in a week, they'll start charging for it. That's my bet.