QOTD: Gas Pump Workaround?
If you’re as paranoid as this writer, chances are your formerly daily driver has long since sailed past its last regularly scheduled fill-up date. The last time any fresh gasoline hit the innards of your author’s high-end motorcar was three and a half weeks ago. The needle’s now resting just north of a quarter tank.
Frankly, it’s cause for concern, as adding useless miles to the odometer has typically served as a mental tonic for yours truly. At the same time, who wants to encounter people or things they’ve touched? That friendly neighborhood gas pump is no longer the welcoming monument it once was (with Doritos, no less). Wouldn’t it be great to drive past it without a care?
“Just give me 20 miles,” I keep thinking, hypermiling my sumptuous Cruze to my favorite running spot roughly 2 miles from home. “20 miles of range I can add at home, keeping that 1.4-liter BEAST in reserve. Why, oh why, did I purchase such a gas pig?!?”
The solution to my problem would be the sudden appearance of a plug-in hybrid in my parking spot. Sure, an electric vehicle would do the trick, and we’ve talked about that before, but a PHEV offers the best of both worlds. I could tool around the Omega Man-like streets of my deserted city, keeping my ICE and gas tank offline until called upon for some sort of emergency (or carefree road trips when borders eventually reopen).
People enjoy choice, but in North America the additional expense, weight, and trade-off in cargo volume (a less common concern nowadays) of PHEVs turns many consumers off. Why not flip the automaker an extra couple of grand for a conventional hybrid, or go all-in with an EV? How else to explain the decline and demise of the Chevrolet Volt?
A vehicle like the Volt (yes, it’s technically a series hybrid, but it works out just the same) would suit me just fine right now. Plenty of plug-in range and a gas generator waiting to fire up should I push it too far. Chances are I wouldn’t have to fill up till summer.
Plug-in hybrids probably aren’t your bag… and that’s okay! But no one likes pumping gas while wearing a t-shirt over their face and plastic bags on their hands, then watching their gas gauge like a cheating spouse. Just for today, put yourself in my mindset. Which PHEV currently on the market (or scheduled to land this year) would get your buy?
[Image: General Motors]
Rudiger on Apr 11, 2020
There are lots of terrific PHEV choices. For a CUV, the Mitsubishi Outlander doesn't have much of an EV range but it 'does' have one ace-in-the-hole: DCFC capability. No other PHEV has that (yet). Now, if the upcoming RAV4 PHEV includes DCFC, it would easily trump the Mitsu. For max hauling capacity, though, it's the Pacifica Hybrid. You can stuff a lot of humans/cargo in one of those without burning any gas for ~34 miles. If a sedan will do, the Honda Clarity has an EV range of 47 miles. And if you don't mind buying used, a second generation Volt, although smaller than the Clarity, has the same range and, unlike the Clarity, is a hatchback. Just make sure to get the top-tier version with the 7.2kWh charger. Charge times of lesser Volts aren't so great.
Arthur Dailey on Apr 12, 2020
@SaulTigh: Another grocery store shut down due to COVID. A store in Vaughan Ontario (Northwest suburb of Toronto) closed after 8 more of its workers test positive. This despite the store being closed and sanitized a couple of weeks prior. So much for your assumption/prediction.
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