NYTimes article on Hybrids

There’s an interesting article in the NY Times today about hybrid cars, including some talk about a diesel-hybrid sports car being developed at a university in San Diego. The prototype does 0-60 in 4.3 seconds and gets 40 to the gallon. Cool stuff. Being a diesel also means you could run it on Biodiesel or vegetable oil.

I did find the following quote really sad though:

To the extent that consumers worried about low fuel economy, it was as a matter of personal inconvenience: stopping to refuel every few days was a big hassle. Before Lexus began selling its 400h S.U.V. hybrid this spring, the company conducted a focus group to find out why would-be buyers wanted a hybrid. The reason: convenience. “The big deal was, I don’t have to stop that much to fuel up. That was a primary purchasing factor!” says Dave Hermance, executive engineer for environmental engineering at Toyota’s Technical Center. “It wasn’t so much the fact that ‘I’m going to save $600 a year in fuel savings.’ Then there was the ‘Oh, yeah, it makes me feel very, very good about the environment. When my kids come home from college, they don’t chew on me as hard, because I’m doing something environmentally correct.’ “

So the problem most Americans have with gas guzzling cars is they have to fill up all the time. If we are seriously that lazy as a country – is it any wonder that we have a declining industrial base and an obesity epidemic?

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