May 6, 2009

SAY IT AIN’T SO: Plug-In Hybrids: More Hype Than Hope?

Having racked up some 17,000 miles, the plug-in Prius hybrids are averaging just 51 mpg. That’s raising uncomfortable questions about the value and effectiveness of plug-in technology, even as President Obama pledges to have 1 million of them on the road by 2015.

“Getting 51 miles per gallon sounds fine compared to most gas cars,” railed Seattle Times columnist Danny Westneat. “But it’s a black eye for a technology that trumpets it will get twice that.”

Perhaps the enthusiasm is getting ahead of the engineering.

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