HYBRID MAKERS TAKE IT UP A GEAR
Firms focus on speed and style not just fuel use
Hybrids and electric cars are going to outsell petrol cars in the next 12 years.
That’s the claim from a senior auto analyst who was speaking after a big budget Super Bowl advert for the Toyota Prius featured a high-speed police chase, with not a fuel emission slogan in sight.
“As a power source, electricity outpaces petrol in just about every area,” Karl Brauer, senior auto analyst for Kelley Blue Book, told the Associated Press.
“Advancements have made batteries smaller, increased their storage capacity and brought prices down.
“Electric motors can take off faster than gas engines, and hybrids can power wheels with both electric and gas motors for better acceleration.
“Electrics also are far quieter. And with fewer moving parts, they’re more reliable,” he added.
Manufacturers of hybrid cars are now focusing on how they outperform their petrol-based counterparts.
Costing more than their petrol counterparts, it was said that drivers would recoup that cost by not having to buy fuel. Other complaints included the fear that the car would run out of power on a long-distance trip as recharging points were few and far between.
According to industry insiders, the improved engine performance will mean long distance trips are no longer an issue.
Shifting the focus to style, acceleration, handling and reliability is deliberate.
“It looks better. It drives better. People can have more fun behind the wheel, but it still has new technologies and safety in it,” Bill Fay, Toyota’s US general manager, said of the Prius.
FAST LANE: The Prius advert sees bank robbers use the hybrid as a high-speed getaway car