This past Sunday, March 30, 2014, we were once again reminded of the possibility of an all-electric car one day soon taking the place of our beloved gas powered automobiles. CBS’s “60 Minutes”, did a story on the tried and tried again Tesla concept of the future. I say the future, not because the new Tesla Model S is not yet available, but because the sticker price is still much too high for the average American family to reach. Even though the Model S is very impressive with stats of 0 to 60 MPH in 4 seconds, and a 7,000 cell battery that will allow the car to travel approximately 250 miles before the next charge, the cost is still over $100,000.00 – far more than most of us can afford.
I think most Americans want to participate in improving the environment, as many have proved by buying hybrid models in recent years. Most of the hybrid autos being produced today are conservative in fuel usage with much less damaging emissions into our breathing air. Many of those models are easily transitioned into without the loss of comfort, convenience, speed and appearance, and the price tag is much easier to bite off and chew as well.
The first hybrid vehicle was produced by Ferdinand Porsche in 1901. The Lohner-Porsche Mixte Hybrid was the first of its kind, however, consumers were not able to purchase and enjoy the advantages of such a revolutionary invention until the late 1990s when Toyota unveiled the Prius.
These days, the large car manufacturers have hybrid models available, and you can see them all over the US highways. They look exactly like their gas powered parents, and it’s difficult to notice any physical differences between, but the end result when you are adding up the gas bill at the end of the month could be of significant difference. The gas powered Toyota Camry has an average MPH of 25 city/35 highway, while the Camry Hybrid sees an average of 43 city/39 highway. You can see a complete list of current hybrid models at HybridCars.com.
It has taken over 90 years from the first hybrid produced to reach the mainstream market. Let’s have hope that the new Tesla design holds possibilities for developing a more affordable all-electric daily cruiser for those of us who want to create a cleaner more efficient world for the future.