Plug-In Partners Organization video ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Plug-In Partners Organization video

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Plug-In Partners Organization video

I've mentioned the Plug-in Partners movement before this, but I think this video does a very good job of explaining exactly what they are going for.

There are real pros and cons when it comes to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). I think the video covers the pros quite well, including how there is nothing more to be developed. If you wanted to, you could go out and buy and use a plug-in hybrid today. Unlike flex-fuel or hydrogen cars, the infrastructure is already there. You could go 20 or 40 miles on battery power, then the gas engine can take over allowing you the freedom an electric car does not. Plug-in hybrids expand on the existing hybrid technology.

The cons cannot be avoided, however. First, if you charge and deplete the batteries fully everyday, they will not last as long as they do for hybrid cars. Damage to batteries is more likely to occur at those more 'extreme' levels. Toyota et al are able to guarantee their hybrid car battery packs for the life of the car because they never fully charge or discharge their batteries. So there is a question of how long these batteries will last and how expensive they would be to replace.

Second, the battery packs will need to be much larger than they are in hybrids today. Some owners of hybrids complain due to the lack of trunk space because the battery pack already steals a significant portion of it. And despite what the video seems to be saying, if you add more batteries to a hybrid in order to make it a plug-in, you will lose more space.

Third, is the cost. Hybrid cars come at an average of $3000 more than their more conventional counterparts. Plug-ins cost thousands more than hybrids.

If you want to know more about Plug-In Partners and what you can do to help their cause, head on over to their site to learn more. Most of their efforts are focused on demonstrating a market for plug-ins. They are looking for people to sign their petitions, governing bodies to make endorsements and companies to make so-called 'soft orders' (soft orders are an agreement to strongly consider purchasing flexible fuel plug-in hybrids if they are manufactured).

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