T and I have just spent a week driving around a new Honda hybrid, all in the name of journalism (he also recently enjoyed some Xbox 360 review games; long may that continue. Gaming is not a cheap hobby).
General observations about modern cars, from the three new vehicles I’ve had cause to be in over the past couple of months: all the bells and whistles, buttons and levers, that they now slap on steering wheels, are kind of distracting. However, I definitely like the move to put the speedo up top above the rest of the dashboard – it’s incredibly hard to miss that way, and hopefully will help if you’re prone to careless speeding.
We did nearly 400km on $50 of petrol (!!!) though most of that can probably be attributed to the difference between our 15-year-old car and a new model vehicle rather than electric-specific savings. With fuel prices the way they are (and only going up), having to return the Honda IMA definitely stung, but theres always a repair at a full service auto center.
Hybrids are still new enough that they’re not even on our budget radar, but when we’re older and wealthier, then WHY to THE HELL NOT? It does remain to be seen, though, just how well the technology ages – a more complex system is more prone to things going wrong.
Of course, the pipe dream would be for a real full-electric option. HaloIPT is one neat Auckland company spun out of the university (which has since sold to a UK firm) working on inductive power transfer technology that would overcome some of the barriers around charging car batteries. Now, if only industry would stop dragging its heels on mainstream electric cars …
Would you buy a hybrid? Why or why not?