Sunday, July 17, 2005

Hybrid Cars Burning Gas in the Drive for Power

I noted previously that Honda Accord Hybrid will be a real test case for how hybrids might do over the next few years. The reason: Accord Hybrid is what Union of Concerned Scientists might call a muscle hybrid.
Today's NYT has a nice piece by Matthew Wald which is drawing attention to the performance hungry US customers.
The 2005 Honda Accord hybrid gets about the same miles per gallon as the basic four-cylinder model, according to a review by Consumer Reports, a car-buyer's guide, and it saves only about two miles a gallon compared with the V-6 model on which it is based. Thanks to the hybrid technology, though, it accelerates better.

Hybrid technology, it seems, is being used in much the same way as earlier under-the-hood innovations that increased gasoline efficiency: to satisfy the American appetite for acceleration and bulk.
You might remember the previous chart of the month, which showed that gains in efficiency improvements are being spent on improved performance as opposed to increased fuel economy.
Mr. Boyd said the Accord split the benefit between fuel economy and performance. He did not describe its selling point as the ability to save gas, but "the appeal of a hybrid."

"The closer you get to the mainstream buyer, fuel economy is still part of the equation, but a smaller part," he said. "In the Accord, people will pay all kinds of money for more performance. We can deliver that performance, but in addition, with better fuel economy."
So, in short people are buying powerful hybrid vehicles because (a) They are COOL! and (b) It gives them a warm glow of trying to save fuel and help the environment.
Not that I have any problem with it for now, but WHAT IF this trend continues?


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Anonymous Alternative Fuel Vehicles said...

Different manufacturers of Hybrid cars has different concept on how there Hybrid cars would work. Although it not works the same, the thing is, it has one aim, to become environmental friendly

2:09 AM  
Anonymous Tim said...

Good job! :)

9:41 AM  

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