Thursday, December 09, 2004

The Car of the Future

From a July 2004 report prepared for the National Commission of Energy Policy by Joe Romm and the Center for Energy and Climate Solutions:

"Plug-in or grid-connectable hybrids could be the most promising Alt-Fuel Vehicle pathway if further cost reductions in vehicle component and integration costs can be achieved. These hybrids can be plugged into the electric grid and run in an all-electric mode for a limited range between recharging. Plug-in hybrids will likely travel three to four times as far on a kilowatt-hour of renewable electricity as fuel cell vehicles.

Unlike most AFVs, plug-ins hold the potential of being cost-competive at current gasoline prices. Given the urgent need to achieve broad market-readiness for technologies capable of major oil substitution, plug-in hybrids should be given substantially higher visibility, priority, support and level of effort on an immediate basis.

We believe that the most plausible vehicle of the future is a plug-in
hybrid running on a combination of low carbon electricity and a low carbon
liquid fuel.

Thus, government policies to push hybrids into the marketplace now will not merely deliver major energy environmental benefits by 2025, but could be critical to enabling even larger benefits by 2050."

The author believes that plug-in hybrids and biofuels deserve at least as much funding and policy attention as hydrogen is currently receiving.


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