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Author: mschmit Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 701  
Subject: Re: Small motorcycle == high MPG Date: 5/26/2006 3:55 PM
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However as I see it, the current hybrids are nutso

I don't agree. The Prius gets about the same mpg as your motorcycle. That is closer to nutso for most consumers. It is more dangerous, only carries one person (maybe 2) and carries very little cargo. And can't be used in all weather conditions. So, most likely you have to own another vehicle (or most people would need to) in order to carry on the typical daily commute and chores. Thus one of the vehicles is an extra capital expense and an extra item that needs to be manufactured, consuming more fossil fuels when being made.

Meanwhile, as car batteries get better and better (maybe by 3-4% per year) we can hope that after 5 - 10 years a truly useful plug-in hybrid can be made very economically. (People are doing conversions now, but they cost ~$10K extra). It is completely possible that in a few years one could buy a plug-in hybrid for just $2K-$4k extra, that would have an EV-only range of 40-100 miles per day. This is enough so that a very large percentage of the population could run on electric-only for 50% - 90% of their needs. There are, basically, few if any compromises that would need to be made, thus it is possible that relatively quickly lots of people would make this choice.

Plug-in hybrid buyers might save money depending on the price of gas. But we would be lowering pollution levels and would be using less foreign oil. It might be that we would be replacing one fossil fuel (oil) with another (coal). But at least it is our coal. And at least there is a chance that electricity can come from a cleaner source.

Motorcycles are not a solution for the mass market.

Electric-only vehicles have too many tradeoffs, IMHO, to get started in the market, but could happen after plug-in hybrids show people how much they can use EV only mode.

Mike
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