Plug-in hybrids continue to get exposure

Just came across this excellent L.A. Times article by auto writer Dan Neil, who talks about his experience driving a modified plug-in Prius while providing terrific context to the plug-in debate.

With so much public pressure building for these things, he says there’s no doubt that the major automakers — even Toyota — are secretly experimenting with plug-in hybrids without publicly admitting that they’re a smart direction to head.

I encourage you to give this column a read. I’m hoping to spin my own yarn on this issue shortly.

2 thoughts on “Plug-in hybrids continue to get exposure”

  1. The Law of the Conservation of Energy still applies here. So that “improved” fuel economy is coming from somewhere – namely the electrical socket. Given an already taxed power grid (see record levels of energy consumption in New York), how will the grid respond to large-scale adoption of pluggable hybrids? Will the cars be smart enough to draw current only in off-peak hours?

    – Dan Taylor

  2. Large-scale adoption wouldn’t be immediate. The grid is already moving toward renewable energy alternatives, nuclear and, of course, natural gas. Coal may be dominant but it won’t be around forever, at least not in its current polluting state. Some jurisdictions are already producing surplus energy they are exporting to provinces such as Ontario, so clearly plug-in hybrids could be supported in some states/provinces. Also, much could be supported during off-peak hours without having a dramatic impact on the grid, and it would help level the load. You ask will cars be smart enough to draw current only in off-peak hours — perhaps, but the more immediate question is will car drivers be smart enough? Considering most of us have daily routines that suit such a scenario, it’s not a stretch.

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