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"Electro-hype" can be a problem and I appreciate Winterkorn's point of view, on the one hand. On the other hand, consider the source. VW is heavily invested in technology it's quite happy with: namely, diesels. So, naturally, the CEO is prone to diss the competition. After all, look what Tesla's Elon Musk says about combustion engines. As for the notion that EV's are not ready for prime, that's up for debate. I've been driving a RAV4 EV for nearly 9 years now, and I'm quite happy with it. The biggest problem is "range anxiety' (which I've gotten used to), coupled with no charging infrastructure. I also have a Hymotion-converted Prius, whose delightful fuel economy numbers are routinely spoiled on longer trips by - no charging infrastructure. The conversation fuel economy and the potential advantage of Range extended PHEVs will get very confusing in the future, because we have no intelligent context for making clear predictions about mpg a consumer may expect for most people's routine trips. Fact is, a PHEV can only get 100+ mpg under very specific and not too ordinary conditions. 70 -80 mpg is, however not too ragged and that's doable regularly in the Prius Hymotion PHEV in my experience. My thought for automakers and aftermarket converters is under-promise and over-deliver. Can't go wrong there.
John, what about the notion of demand shift? While we are not the only large consumer of oil in the world - and barring oil becoming a scarce commodity through depletion, war, or the like - what's the likelihood of demand shift being THE dominant force in the market, lowering prices and thus thwarting the effort to reduce consumption? I'd like to hear more discussion of this topic... including the effects of pure speculation that is alluded to in the Charlotte Observer article, in the link above. Thanks!
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