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Art Lewellan
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Standard drivetrains like the Honda Accord cannot be upgraded to Plug-in as can a hybrid. High MPG is a secondary consideration when a Plug-in Hybrid can act as an emergency power supply and moreover effectively achieve 500 MPG when daily driving distance is kept low. Rooftop photovoltiac solar panel systems are better matched to PHEVs than BEVs because their smaller battery pack keeps cost low and serves a larger market. The Honda hybrid does not offer this Ford/Toyota hybrid advantage.
The chassis type - common para-transit van - should be considered obsolete for mass transit because it won't accommodate a user friendly low-floor arrangement. Front wheel drive hybrid is the logical successor. GM & Ford are happy to cheaply produce and profit from the sale of high-floor para-transit vans but elderly and disabled patrons would appreciate easier boarding. Furthermore, battery packs are the more ideal energy storage system. Ultra-capacitor electric drive assists the engine, but the engine must assist the electric drive to achieve maximum energy and fuel economy, and a battery pack is necessary for that end goal.
HYBRID technology is more advanced than All-Battery Electric and hydrogen fuel cell. PLUG-IN HYBRID technology can reach 3x the market. Hybrids more readily convert existing body types. Photovoltiac panels are a better match with PHEV. The internal combustion engine must continue to improve with new bio-fuels and hydrogen use 'sparingly' in the PHEV Hybrid drivetrain market which will predominate.
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Apr 23, 2012