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FEATURE ARTICLE

Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles for a Sustainable Future

Appropriately designed hybrid cars will help wean society off petroleum. The necessary technology is available now

Andrew Frank

Figure 8. Plug-in hybrid and diagramClick to Enlarge Image

Hybrid vehicles that can drive about 50 miles on battery power alone could satisfy most people's daily driving requirements without refueling, the car being recharged at night from the electric grid. Building such vehicles does not require any technological breakthroughs, yet very few plug-ins are currently being manufactured. The widespread availability of plug-in hybrid vehicles would be a welcome development, easing pressure on petroleum supplies and fostering energy independence among consumers, who would be that much more inclined to outfit their homes with solar panels or wind turbines to offset their increased use of electric power. Such an evolution could gradually build energy independence and security for society as a whole.


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