Some of the folks touting hybrid cars--standard fuel plus electric--think their favored technology runs against the plans of T. Boone Pickens. I recently blogged Pickens' pick of CNG as a great new transit fuel for American drivers. Over at Hybridowners they're saying electric hybrids and eventually plug-ins will short-cut Pickens' plans. Keep that natural gas flowing to electricity generating plants. This theme just got echoed on the opinion pages of a major U.S. newspaper. The Pickens pile-on has begun.
Two things to keep in mind: the first plug-ins hit American streets and road in a about a year. There are very places in America to find CNG for a re-fill. There are a lot of places for car owners to plug in their car for a recharge.
The Hybridowners site is run by the folks behind Civil Society. They are positioned to lobby for subsidies and legislation favoring cleantech. Meanwhile the dropping oil prices are not doing them any short-term favors. Their front page still touts a survey done back in June. Americans feared $5/gallon gasoline by the Labor Day just past. Ooops.
A happy footnote for some hybrid owners: discount on auto insurance. A survey of hybrd buyers this year found that two things drive the drivers to drive a hybrid: tax credits and high gasoline prices. Governments control the first and can influence the second so those hybrid lobbying folks are going to be kept busy unless gasoline goes to $20 per gallon (about double what drivers pay currently in the U.K.).
Really bad Car-ma today as auto companies almost universally reported a sales slump from August to August. Right now it look like less than fourteen million vehicles will be sold in the U.S. this year, more than two million less than last year. Not just gas prices hurting there, the wholemortgage mess has many folks hoarding their diminished capital.