Plug-In Hybrids: More Hype Than Hope?
Posted by keelynet on May 29, 2009
Not the Mama;
“Seattle has outfitted more than a dozen Toyota Prius hybrids with new plug-in technology to squeeze even better fuel efficiency from the eco-wonder. City officials were intrigued by data suggesting they could cut their fuel consumption in half by using batteries charged directly from the grid. If claims are to be believed, drivers would routinely see 100 mpg using readily available battery packs installed in the trunk. Just over a year after performing the conversions, the city says it is thrilled with the cars. The plug-in Prius hybrids have used less gas and emitted less CO2 than their conventional counterparts. But the tests also have put a big dent in the plug-in promise. Having racked up some 17,000 miles, the plug-in Prius hybrids are averaging just 51 mpg. That’s raising uncomfortable questions about the value and effectiveness of plug-in technology, even as President Obama pledges to have 1 million of them on the road by 2015. “Getting 51 miles per gallon sounds fine compared to most gas cars,” said railed Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat. “But it’s a black eye for a technology that trumpets it will get twice that.” Greentrepreneurs routinely cite 100 mpg as the new benchmark for eco-conscious drivers, and even Wired magazine touted the figure in a cover story last year. But it’s more than a psychologically comforting number. It’s a figure we can achieve with current technology, proponents argue.” – Source
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