PHOTO CAPTION: Second generation, Russian-develop Yo-Mobile. Original concept used natural gas and supercapacitor-based hybrid drive

Plug-In Hybrids and Natural Gas: The Future of Auto Propulsion

John Goreham sees a natural marriage between plug-in hybrid drive systems fueled by compressed natural gas.

Published: 30-Jan-2014

Practical electric vehicles affordable to families in the middle and lower income levels do not yet exist. Sure, we can use tax and borrow economics to make anything seem affordable, but the truth is almost nobody is going to buy a Leaf at its actually break-even price with no government rebates.

In California the government price supports to the all-electric Leaf buyer and to the manufacturer are now well over 50% of the “price” of the Leaf. The customer's buy-price is about $11,500 for one. Yet, the Prius is the best-selling car in California. Not the best-selling green car – best period. In the US overall the Prius outsells the Leaf by about a 10 to 1 ratio and the Prius outsells all the plug-in and pure EVs in the market combined.

Automakers can build a practical hybrid automobile affordably now. They can and do sell well without massive tax refund incentives and without special stickers for high occupancy lanes - as the Prius has been proving for well over 2 years now. The buying public needs range and the Leaf does not offer that, or the majority of green vehicle buyers don’t believe that it does.



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