How To Raise Public Awareness of Electric And Hybrid Vehicles

List of ways to turn automotive analysts’ predictions on hybrid/EV sales five years from now – projected 5% market share by 2015 – into reality and then some.

Published: 05-Dec-2012

Within the past decade, it’s safe to assume hybrids have undergone not just a makeover with efficiency, performance and overall appearance, but also familiarity in the driver conscience. We’ve gone from hearing about just the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius to welcoming the Chevrolet Volt, Nissan LEAF, SmartCar, Mitsubishi iMiEV and other future entries to the hybrid/EV market. Even well-known models like the Civic, Camry, Audi A3 TDI, VW Jetta, Fusion and others have started making specific gas-electric vehicles to increase not just MPG standards, but options when selecting a trim.

It’s no longer a myth or a fad that Hollywood celebrities tried to cook up in their off time at the turn of the 21st century. Buses are being made to run on biodiesel (Willie Nelson’s chugs along on a mixture of soybeans and vegetable oils). Determination to create full-fledged hydrogen cars as a worthy competitor to EVs is still pressing on. And even though the latter is more or less still ironing out the kinks, it’s at least in the news. The days of reading endless articles on The Myths of Hybrid Vehicles is being shoved aside by rising Prius sales across the globe. Basically, the popularity and familiarity of hybrids with the everyday driver has a fairly bright future.

But there’s more work to be done to make it even more so. And I’m not talking about changing the technology and capability of a hybrid to eventually start flying like a scene straight out of Back To The Future: Part II, or transforming into rail cars that cling to buildings and drop you off at your home or apartment, a la Minority Report (although you’d think that’d lower people’s auto insurance premiums if we magically woke up to fully auto-driver assistance).


Waikato University-built electric car. Photo credit: PETER DRURY/ Waikato Times

Waikato University electric car has cruise speed of 80 km/h and range 150 km per charge.

President Obama inspects Chevrolet Volt at GM's Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant.

Center for American Progress' Daniel J. Weiss and Jackie Weidman explain why the USA needs to "pave the road for 21st century vehicles."

Aptera 2e prototype; company closed its doors late in 2011.

2011 has seen the production globally of some 50,000 electric cars, but it's also been a bumpy road, reports USA Today.


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