Monday, September 04, 2006

Will U.S. automakers miss the boat on plug-in hybrids, too?

Japanese automakers were at the forefront of hybrid car technology, so much so that the 2005 energy bill states that once an automaker has sold 60,000 hybrid vehicles, the tax credit for those hybrids is slowly reduced. This was written to give U.S. automakers an advantage over the more popular foreign options.

Now Pacific Gas & Electric is
asking its customers to petition U.S. automakers to put plug-in hybrid cars on the road faster. Toyota is working on plug-in hybrid technology, but says it is at least a decade away. U.S. automakers, on the other hand, don't see plug-in hybrids as a viable alternative at all. Instead they insist hydrogen cars are the vehicles of the future.

Hydrogen cars are at least several decades away, and we need more efficient cars NOW to slow global warming. It's time for U.S. automakers to show real leadership with this technology. With skyrocketing financial woes, energy efficiency and innovative technologies could be a patriotic and inspiring marketing campaign.

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