The great jgoods made some valid points yesterday about the future of electric vehicles. EV technology is definitely cool, and I support anything that reduces our use of oil, but I just don’t see electric vehicles (or even hybrids for that matter) as the answer to our planet’s long-term dependency on petroleum.
Call me a “nattering nabob of negativism” if you must, but the questions of how long battery packs will last, how much it will cost to replace them, and how they will be produced on a massive scale remain unanswered.
We absolutely must work toward getting off oil. The horrifying Gulf of Mexico gusher proves that to the tune of 2.5 million gallons every day. Until we develop a long-term solution, though, automakers should continue developing high-efficiency diesel and gas engines.
The CR-Z is the first hybrid with a six-speed manual and will sticker for $19,950 when it arrives on the market on August 24. Fully loaded it’ll go for $23,960. Power comes from a 1.5-liter four-cylinder working with Honda’s Integrated Motor Assist. The car is rated at 122 hp, with an EPA estimate of 34 mpg combined for the manual transmission. (A CVT will also be offered, rated at 37 mpg combined.)
Those numbers aren’t very impressive considering the hybrid powertrain and the fact that the CR-Z is based on the Honda Fit platform.
For comparison, check out what Autoblog learned about the upcoming Hyundai Veloster:
At a media breakfast in Los Angeles this morning, Hyundai Motor America president John Krafcik let slip that the Korean automaker expects to breach the 40 miles-per-gallon barrier with its forthcoming small sports coupe.
Keep in mind power for the Veloster is expected to come from a 1.6-liter, 140-hp four-cylinder. Since it’s not a hybrid, it should be less expensive and offer more utility than the CR-Z.
So the non-hybrid, should it come to market as promised, will offer more power, better fuel economy, and no need to worry about replacing battery packs. Seems like the winner of this competition is a no-brainer to me.
Efficient gas and diesel vehicles are a better way to reduce oil consumption than hybrids and EVs until we develop a permanent replacement. Agree?