QOTD: Power to the People?

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Later this week you’ll be reading about my exploits in a couple of alternative energy vehicles — the next-generation Nissan Leaf and Honda Clarity Plug-in Hybrid. Yes, dear reader, even this truck-loving rural boy can understand the need for companies to develop machines that don’t burn dead dinosaurs.

Surrounded by plug-in hybrids, battery-electric vehicles, and even a couple of hydrogen fuel cell cars, it got me thinking – what’s the most likely bet as the power source of the future?

Even though I am an ardent disciple of the muscle car, making burnt offering to the temple of speed with rubber marbles left behind after smoky burnouts, I do certainly recognize that batteries and hydrogen and other stuff that hasn’t been invented yet are the (eventual) way of the future.

Cars such as these will allow us to use and appreciate our Hellcats and ZR1s, much in the way that the car itself allowed the human race to stop using horses for work, appreciating them instead for the beautiful creatures they are (never mind that some of them are simply swivel-eyed lunatics, sent into mass hysteria at the sight of an errant candy wrapper).

If, as penance for my V8 pickup truck, I am required to pilot a sedan sized like the one pictured above … but powered by some sort of hybrid system or (once they work out the infrastructure) hydrogen, I think I’d be okay with that. Would I accept a mini microcar with the charm of a toaster? Definitely not. But some sort of machine with room enough to stretch out and interior styling not wholly lifted from the bridge of the starship Enterprise? Sure.

Do you think most of us be making our way to the shops on battery power in a few decades time, or will hydrogen be propelling us there? Something else? Or do you think that sucker will go nuclear like in Fallout 4?

[Image: ©2017 Matthew Guy/The Truth About Cars]

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • Ilkhan Ilkhan on Dec 11, 2017

    Hydrogen might make sense for heavy vehicles (aircraft, trains, long haul trucks) due to energy density, but for "normal" people BEVs are going to crush alternatives.

  • Shortest Circuit Shortest Circuit on Dec 12, 2017

    Hydrogen came and went. I still remember the promotional articles showing Arnie filling up some sort of Honda (Clarity?) and declaring it the future. That was 10 years ago. Electricity is the future. Now if it will be AC or DC, that's a whole 'nother story :)

  • Lorenzo I think it's time to retire the adjective 'electrifying'. It will only cause confusion now.
  • Daniel J Until we get a significant charging infrastructure and change times get under 10 minutes, yes
  • Mike I own 2 gm 6.2 vehicles. They are great. I do buy alot of gas. However, I would not want the same vehicles if they were v6's. Jusy my opinion. I believe that manufacturers need to offer engine options for the customer. The market will speak on what the consumer wants.For example, I dont see the issue with offering a silverado with 4cyl , 6 cyl, 5.3 v8, 6.2 v8, diesel options. The manufacturer will charge accordingly.
  • Mike What percentage of people who buy plug in hybrids stop charging them daily after a few months? Also, what portion of the phev sales are due to the fact that the incentives made them a cheaper lease than the gas only model? (Im thinking of the wrangler 4xe). I wish there was a way to dig into the numbers deeper.
  • CEastwood If it wasn't for the senior property tax freeze in NJ I might complain about this raising my property taxes since most of that tax goes to the schools . I'm not totally against EVs , but since I don't drive huge miles and like to maintain my own vehicles they are not practical especially since I keep a new vehicle long term and nobody has of yet run into the cost of replacing the battery on an EV .