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Posts Tagged ‘hybrid cars’

Another EV Burns, Internal Combustion the “New” Trend

August 13th, 2012

Fisker fire

I haven’t made a secret of the fact that I’m not sold on hybrid or full electric vehicles.

While I believe cutting back on our use of oil can only be a good thing, doing so through the use of chemical-laden battery packs and coal-produced electricity kind of misses the point of helping the environment.

Since this hybrid hype began many years ago, I’ve been a staunch believer in the humble internal combustion engine. Many automakers believed the ICE could be refined to offer the kind of fuel savings the planet, and the planet’s drivers, need. Smaller-displacement engines and turbocharging can go a long way in boosting MPGs while keeping costs down. Why invent new technology when we can improve existing technology? I saw two stories this weekend that helped cement that belief.

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Green Update: More EVs and Hybrids Coming

March 6th, 2012

BMW ActiveE

Audi’s E-tron is coming into production later this year as an R8 with four electric motors to give you 313 hp and 502 lb-ft of torque. You can probably get this thing on a limited lease, but if you’ve got the bread, you can buy this sled.

As long as we are still in cloud cuckoo land, consider the Porsche 918 Spyder, which we have reported on before. For $845,000, you will get a hybrid that

promises a top speed of 198 m.p.h., fuel economy exceeding 70 m.p.g. and lower carbon emissions than a Prius. Between its race-bred V-8 and electric motors, the plug-in Porsche will kick out roughly 730 horsepower and is said to be capable of 0-to-60 m.p.h. acceleration in just 3.2 seconds, yet travel up to 25 miles on electricity.

More German stuff at slightly lower cost: BMW’s ActiveE (photo above) has been made available to a lucky few (700) on the coasts for testing. One report praises the car for its “near-gymnastic dexterity” and its remarkable braking system that applies progressive and strong braking force as you take your foot off the accelerator. This is called “one-pedal drive,” and could be the future for EVs.

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Are Hybrids Already a Dying Breed?

April 6th, 2011

The best reason to own a hybrid

Our man jgoods wrote a scathing piece on minivans last week. While I’m no fan of the people-movers either, I certainly see their benefit, especially considering that for the past three days I’ve been touring the country as part of a caravan consisting of one Dodge Caravan, one Chrysler Town & Country and my family’s SUV.

The ease of loading passengers and gear into the vans is almost enough for me to secretly wish I had one too, but then an epic blizzard in Wyoming brought me back to reality, and my AWD SUV was suddenly the best family car I’ve ever owned.

So while I won’t own a van, I hold nothing against them. My problem is with hybrids, vehicles I believe aren’t worth the gas that goes in ‘em. And it seems I’m far from alone on this…

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