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It is obvious that most US Automakers didn't see the signs that hybrids and other fuel efficient technology would be in high-demand as oil prices continued to rise. With Toyota and Honda well developed and trusted with their hybrid tech, it may be more difficult to break into the niche than some people expect.

Ken Grubb

Hybrid car development will always strike me ironic. Back in the 1990s under PNGV (Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles), Ford, GM and Chrysler produced concepts for 72-80 MPG hybrid "supercars". As a result, Toyota and Honda decided they needed to remain competitive and aggressively pursued hybrids on their own. Today, Japanese hybrids beat the pants off the ridiculous hollow hybrid models that Detroit produces. The American taxpayer paid about over $1.25 billion for PNGV. Ford, GM and Chrysler have delivered little substance to the consumer in the 8 years since the Prius and Insight first appeared in America.


Hey! Thanks for the great info about GM and hybrids. I can't wait for the plug in to become commercially available.

I was browsing through a bunch of green websites and blogs and I came across yours and found it very interesting. There are a bunch of others I like too, like the daily green, ecorazzi and earthlab.com. I especially like EarthLab.com’s carbon calculator (http://www.earthlab.com/signupprofile/). I find it really easy to use (it doesn’t make me feel guilty after I take it).

Are there any others you would recommend? Can you drop me a link to your favorites (let me know if they are the same as mine).


Here is a great DIY project for all of us who own SUVs:

It is called the Hybrid Adapter and will transform your SUV into a hybrid when you need it:


Joseph D. Jackson

Isn't it obvious that the time has come for an "either/or" Diesel-electric hybrid pick-up truck? People buy pick-ups for their versatility. They can be used to haul trailers, tools, dirt, groceries, gravel, sand, bricks; you-name-it, They are ALSO the primary form of PERSONAL transport, of driver and passengers, for those who own them. So they are used both LOADED and 'empty' of any cargo except a few PEOPLE.
If one were built with a plug-in battery bank and an electric motor connected to a TRANSFER case, it could be used for 'light duty' such as grocery runs and trips to the bank, using ONLY a very efficient electric motor. But when it came time to haul the horse trailer, a load of bricks, or take a LONG trip that ran the battery bank DOWN, you just put the transmission in neutral and switch the TRANSFER case over to direct-drive-diesel! The truck then runs on a relatively small 5 cylinder, long-rod, high-compression diesel engine, and has all the torque and power needed to haul the heavy weights AND/OR use the alternator to recharge that battery bank, ALL at the same TIME! And if you're NOT hauling anything but people, you can switch BACK to "electric only" mode, just as soon as an indicator light on the dash tells you that the storage batteries are back up to "charged" status. The system is relatively uncomplicated and so easy to build and understand, but you still have 'the best of both worlds!'

Ira Beckerman

RE: Hybrid Rentals

I'd like to share a small success story, with the hope that more will push this envelope. My wife and I were in Arizona visiting my mother, and planned a 3-day side trip to visit another part of the State we hadn't seen yet. We needed to rent a car, and rather than getting the usual smallest vehicle available, we chased down a Prius at Enterprise, the big national chain. Let me preface by saying it wasn't easy to find. None of the other major rental companies knew what I was talking about: Avis, National, Budget, Alamo. Hertz had 3 Prius's, but only at the airport (where there is a 25% tax). Enterprise, as a corporation, was only partly clueless, having placed their hybrids into an "Exotic Car" category. With the help of two very good local staff, I was able to reserve a Prius for the trip. Even at a premium of $18/day (over the cost of the cheapest rental), we saved a few dollars for the trip by using less gas. Kudos to Enterprise and especially to these young staffers, who "get it".

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