Should Electric Car Companies have Made More use of Hybrid Vehicles?

Hybrids can change
Hybrids can change

While there is no doubt that the number of electric vehicles on the road today is far greater than at any other time in history, they still account for a tiny percentage of the overall car market. There is scope, and there is hope, for electric vehicles to become much more popular in the future but is the jump from a traditional gasoline powered vehicle to an electric vehicle too much for some people?

There is a growing idea that perhaps electric car companies should have made more use, and indeed should make more use, of hybrid vehicles as a stepping stone to fully functional electric vehicles. Would this allay some of the fears and concerns of motorists?

What is a hybrid?

In simple terms a hybrid vehicle is powered by electric, although it does have a backup gasoline powered motor which charges the cars batteries when required. In many ways it is the more sensible approach to electric vehicles at this moment in time even if sales of hybrid vehicles have themselves been disappointing - accounting for around 3% of annual U.S. car sales.

Why would a hybrid help the electric car industry?

One of the main concerns of the motoring public today with regards to electric vehicles is the lack of charging stations and journey capacity. This is fact. Motorists are concerned about getting from A to B and how they will be able to refuel their car along the way.

There is a growing consensus that perhaps the electric car industry has missed a "trick" by not utilising the attractions of hybrids and perhaps focusing upon this stepping stone as opposed to the major jump from gasoline powered vehicles to electric powered cars. Whether or not it is too late to reprogram the minds of the motoring public towards hybrid vehicles, as opposed to electric vehicles, is a matter of debate.

The future of electric cars

Whether we like it or not, there is every chance that hybrid vehicles will play a major role in the electric car market going forward. Despite the fact that governments are directly investing hundreds of millions of dollars into the electric car industry, perhaps they should also be targeting the hybrid industry in the short to medium term as well?

Quote from ElectricForum.com : "Is the 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid an improvement on the older models?"

The sale of electric vehicles in the U.S. accounts for less than 1% of annual car sales, although when we look at countries in Scandinavia the percentage is much greater. Perhaps the U.S. government, and to the same extent the UK government, needs to take a step back and look at areas of the world which have been more successful in encouraging the take up of electric vehicles, such as Scandinavia?

Conclusion

While in theory, it seemed to be a no-brainer to encourage motorists to jump from gasoline powered vehicles to electric powered cars due to efficiency savings, less damage to the environment, and cost savings in the long-term, in practice this has been a hard task. Perhaps hybrid vehicles will play a major role going forward? Perhaps they will act as a useful stepping stone towards electric vehicles? Or it is now too late to reprogram the minds of the motoring public?