Background article, history of hybrids

Hi folks,
Every now and then you come across an article that gives terrific insights to what is going on. In this article, we get an excellent
overview of the California initiatives and how they have led to today's mixed bag of efforts in electric vehicles, hybrids and hydrogen technologies:
http://www.spectrum.ieee.org/nov07/5657
[quote] California to Rule On Fate of EVs By Peter Fairley
First Published November 2007 Regulators rethink electric-drive options . . . [/quote]
We've heard about GM crushing their EV vehicles and Honda "shredded" theirs. Apparently, only Toyota had the good sense to leave their EVs available to the owners. The reason why:
[quote]. . . The regulation's downfall came in 2003 when the mandate, set to come into full force, was instead derailed by a GM-led lawsuit. The industry litigants argued that CARB's incentives for gasoline-sipping hybrids showed the ZEV mandate was regulating fuel efficiency, a power granted to the federal government. The board settled the suit by giving automakers a way out. Instead of making thousands of battery EVs each, automakers could embark on an industry-wide effort to commercialize fuel-cell vehicles, . . .
The Big 6—DaimlerChrysler, Ford, GM, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota—lost no time getting to work on fuel cells, and they are on schedule to produce the fuel-cell cars promised for next year. But with the emphasis on fuel cells, carmakers were free to give up on their battery EVs, and all but Toyota did so. By 2003 the Big 6 had built about 4400 battery EVs under the ZEV program. Most were recalled and crushed (in Honda's case, shredded) after the court settlement. . . .[/quote]
So instead of live and let live, let's run an endurance program for these EV vehicles, the manufacturers, including Honda, with rare exception, trashed the vehicles that might have given them insights to what works and doesn't work over the long term. GM Lutz is quoted as saying crushing the EV1s was his worst mistake, I agree.
One way out was to produce fuel cell vehicles only 'Reality' has a vote in that decision: [quote]. . . Automakers want more time, and more credits, for fuel-cell technology. The vehicles just aren't ready: according to an independent review released by CARB in April, fuel cells remain 20 times as expensive as combustion engines and last as little as three years, hydrogen storage tanks are inadequate, and hydrogen fuel stations are nonexistent. . . . [/quote]
You can lie about it but you can't fool physics, chemistry and the free market value of things. This is why, barring some way to make a candy bar into a fuel cell, I don't buy into the 'hydrogen fraud.' But now the 100 car fuel cell 'pilot' experiment from GM makes sense:
[quote] . . . The board settled the suit by giving automakers a way out. Instead of making thousands of battery EVs each, automakers could embark on an industry-wide effort to commercialize fuel-cell vehicles, beginning with the demonstration of just 250 fuel-cell cars by 2008, with more to follow. . . . [/quote] Overall, this is an excellent read and gives terrific insights to the history of EVs, hybrids and the 'hydrogen fraud.' An excellent read, it brings clarity to what otherwise would appear to be a fragmented, disjointed history.
The wild car in everything is Toyota realized they couldn't make enough Prius hybrid electrics. They are finding out that the hybrid Camrys are ever bit as popular with 1/3d of the Georgetown KY plant output being hybrids (along with a quality problem of their hydro-mechanical, automatic transmissions.) A good read, I recommend it for the insights.
Bob Wilson
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Site Timeline

Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.