Awesome! The Hybrid Car has arrived! What a fantastic piece of innovative technology. Wouldn’t you agree?
Well, I guess there is that one small snag of course. It’s a perfect target for vandalism.
See in theory the Hybrid, or electric car, is fantastic.
It saves on gas, helps save the environment, it’s quiet, runs on batteries,
and at the end of the day you can just plug your car in so it’s recharged for you in the morning.
Oh…wait a second…you’re telling me that the battery won’t last all day and that I have to charge it while I’m out and about too?
Hmmmm…now we have a problem.
I’m not talking about the Toyota Prius that we all know.
It’s battery and gas operated but you never have to charge the battery yourself.
The car does it for you.
I’m talking about the NEW Prius.
The plug in Prius.
And more specifically, for the purpose of this posting, the Chevrolet Volt.
What an amazing piece of technology. The lines on the car are fantastic and you can easily spot a volt on the road due to the lack of an exhaust pipe coming out from the rear of the car.
I would love to own one.
However, there is that hefty price tag remember, $40-$45,000, that does make you think twice before taking the plunge.
That is unless you’ve actually seen one being charged. Then you realize you would NEVER want to own one.
I happened to be in California this past summer and was staying at a Super 8 Hotel.
It was a busy hotel with lots of tourists all around the premises.
When I arrived it was hard to find parking so I had to move to their overflow lot in the back of the hotel.
I’m pretty particular about where I park my car so this wasn’t a happy moment for me. Nonetheless it had to be done so I slowly made my way to the back of the hotel.
Squeezing my way in between numerous illegally parked vehicles that had been abandoned by their owners, I finally found a place to park for the night.
When I finally made my way out of the car something caught my eye, and it was a sight I’ll never forget.
Directly across from me sat a Chevrolet Volt.
I’d actually never been this close to one before so the idea that I could walk over and take a closer look excited me!
I started moving towards the car. What a fantastic looking machine. As I made my way around to the passenger side I was suddenly compelled to stop.
Not because I was admiring the shear elegance of this automobile, but because I couldn’t believe what I was seeing.
There on the ground, all twisted and tangled,
was a huge extension cord plugged into the cars own electrical housing.
From the car, the extension cord ran through the parking lot, where cars would obviously be driving over it,
through the garden of the Hotel and back to an electrical outlet near the front door of the Hotel itself.
For me, this was definitely an unsettling moment.
In looking around the area I realized that the electrical outlet this owner had chosen to plug in his $40,000 vehicle was the ONLY electrical outlet on the outside of the premises.
Not only that, but because the parking lot was so busy due to all the tourists,
the extention cord wound it’s way through parked cars, gardens, other vehicles etc, before finally making it’s way to the cars own electrical plug.
Now, as I have already mentioned, I’m pretty particular about where I park my car.
Now, here is an owner that has a very expensive car with it’s electrical door on the vehicle completely open for the world to see, touch, knock, or whatever else might end up happening in an overflow parking lot.
For the first time I realized that todays hybrid vehicles are completely impractical and a PERFECT target for vandalism.
After all, you are now inviting someone who wants to do harm to your vehicle by leaving your main way of charging the vehicle open for the world to see.
So here is my solution.
Hybrid vehicles need to have an overhaul.
If you are planning on just driving around town the battery should have an operating time of about 200-300km so that you can spend your day driving around the city and then plug your car in at the end of the day back in your own private garage or car port.
If you are planning on going out of town or on a family vacation
then you have a gas engine to make that possible.
It’s the best of both worlds.
As was in the case of the owner of the Volt at the Super 8 Hotel, he obviously had no choice.
He’s on vacation but his vehicle won’t be able to be used unless it has been charged up.
So…he is stuck in having to come up with some fandangled plan to charge his otherwise inoperable $40,000 automobile.
Is it just me that sees something wrong with this picture?
I know that if I’m going to spend that kind of money on a new hybrid car it better be the most practical automobile on the planet that saves me just as much money on the road as it does in time trying to keep the battery charged.
For me, the hybrid car of today is an epic fail.
Buzz Lightyear, one of Disney’s most beloved characters, always says..
“to infinity and beyond!”
I think when it comes to hybrid vehicles we might want to take a page from his book and start to look elsewhere for a solution.
The Hybrid vehicle is a long way off from being a practical form of transportation.
Especially when after you buy one, it becomes a sitting duck for vandalism.