Hybrids and Electric Plug Ins—Don’t Believe The Hype


Hybrid vs. Internal Combustion

It’s a topic that’s beginning to dominate water cooler discussions across the nation. New car manufacturers are aggressively marketing their individual models and technology and if you try to keep up with all the hype you might just feel like your head is spinning.
Here at “Horsepower Broadcasting” we look at automotive propulsion systems continually, always seeking to sort out the hype from the hope. It’s no big secret that most of us here do not agree with the electric technology but the reasons are varied.

Tesla electric plug in

Electric Hybrid

Let’s look at the Electric Hybrid models first. These are the hopefuls in the lot but as we’ll see (at least for now) they really don’t pencil as well as the manufacturers would have you believe. There are several reasons why the hybrid is not the wisest choice, here are a few:

**Higher initial cost. A perfect example of this is the Ford Fusion. The Hybrid version can be $6,000 or more than it’s conventional counterpart. It might take longer than you think to recoup that initial investment. In fact, most people won’t keep the car long enough to realize a savings.

**Actual fuel economy really depends on your particular driving style. If you’re aggressive on the accelerator (and who isn’t) fuel economy will suffer. A wiser consideration would be Turbo Diesel.

**Negative Environmental Impact. The batteries inside hybrid cars depend on materials like lithium and cobalt. Mining for those minerals is an extremely destructive process, and one that has left entire mountains leveled in their wake. Local residents benefit little from these endeavors. In addition, the countries with the most lucrative mines tend to also be some of the most unstable, including Bolivia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. So increasing our dependence on electric and hybrid cars may mean trading the conflicts in the Middle East for another set of problems.

Nissan Electric Plug in
Electric Plug-In

Now let’s look at the “Electric Plug In” or better yet, let’s not!! (Just kidding) The electric plug in is all hype! Range anxiety is just one of the problems with this car. The one that boils our blood here at Horsepower Broadcasting is the whole “Zero Emissions” claim. That is a lie from the pit of hell, the truth is it may be a border line gross polluter when you consider all the coal that needs to burn to charge the battery. It’s a gimmick car that promises, but really doesn’t deliver, other than being a cool conversation piece. We would say to drop them all into the ocean but that would pollute the oceans, seems like they pollute regardless of where you put them!

Horsepower for an Hour is a Nationally Syndicated Automotive Talk Radio Show heard on over 140 radio stations across America and in more than 182 Countries World Wide

Horsepower for an Hour is a Nationally Syndicated Automotive Talk Radio Show heard on over 140 radio stations across America and in more than 182 Countries World Wide

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About Author

Donny is a Southern California specialty shop owner with primary emphasis on transmission and differential systems. He is an automotive technology graduate with over 30 years of experience. He and his wife own DMC Transmission outside of Los Angeles and were awarded “Shop of the Year” honors in 2010 and 2011.

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