Monday, March 22, 2004

Hybrid cars show fuel cells the way

Even I didn't know this!
The effect of new components on resale value is also an issue: the battery is warrantied for ten years or 150,000 miles. This does not equate to the maximum lifetime but public perception is not necessarily in line with this and the technology has not yet been out on the roads long enough to prove its longevity.

What is more important is the following:

At US$5,000 more than a normal gasoline internal combustion engine car, only 18 per cent of those surveyed would consider a hybrid, a result likely to be similar for fuel cell vehicles. Lower that differential to US$1,500 and a more positive 43 per cent could be interested. Make the price equal though and 59 per cent would consider the switch. In the end, one way or another, the customer will make the decision.

So, if Toyota and Honda keep learning from their Hybrid experience even as detroit continues to lag, we might soon come to a point (in a year or two) when the price differential between ICE vehicles and Hybrids will be less that $1500. Will that mean that detroit will really throw in the towel on the cars segment of the market by 2007? (Haven't they sort of already?)

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