Right now we're sort of in a transition stage where some companies are choosing to build electric vehicles while others are building hybrids and another group is just trying to create the most efficient internal combustion engine possible. There is a large amount of pressure to make changes due to rising fuel prices, environmental issus and limited oil supply. Therefore manufacturers are making strides to try and improve fuel economy and the impact cars put on the earth.
There are advantages to all these paths manufactures are taking. First off electric cars don't have to have any impact on the environment when they are driving and operating (this of course depends on where your power comes from). This makes them very good for the environment compared to vehicles powered by internal combustion engines. They also require significantly less maintenance because they don't require oil changes, oil filters, timing belts, or spark plugs. This means it's not only cheaper for you, it's also better for the environment in this regard as well. The downside however is right now they don't last very long on a charge or if you buy a hydrogen powered one stations are not available in most places, and we don't know how fast fuel stations will adopt hydrogen pumps. So that means right now don't expect to get too far with your vehicle. That's the electric cars biggest downfall is that your limited to just driving short distances between charges and obviously the wait for the vehicle to fully charge. I believe it's these factors that make them so unattractive to potential buyers.
|Not as "green" as you thought.|
|Volkswagen's turbo direct injected engine.|
Now here is the ultimate question will internal combustion engines ever get to a point where it's so efficient that burning fossil fuels won't make a big enough impact to worry about? Or has the internal combustion engine reached the end of its useful life? I don't think hybrids are a viable solution at all because they create a pretty big carbon footprint while being made and then continue to make one as they are driven. Should we just suck it up and deal with the short comings of an electric vehicle and hope they improve over time?