Originally Posted by juglo-j
They said the mini-van will get 400 miles on 8 gallons. That's 50mpg AFTER driving 40 miles using only electricity!
How much electricity?
This is the problem with focusing on higher power, larger (and inherently less efficient) vehicles ... they're going to appear to get good "gas mpg" (if you only consider the gas input) but electricity is not free. Bigger, less electricity-efficient EVs are going to put a lot more strain on the grid than a small, efficient EV -- something we STILL DO NOT HAVE. I wish they'd start building those FIRST. After all, BEVs do have limited range and the primary market for them is commuter duty, something that generally doesn't require a minivan or SUV.
And I'm skeptical of the timelines offered. ANY new car typically takes 3-5 years to reach commercialization, and we're already talking about a shorter timeline than that to incorporate fundamentally new technology into it.
True, a straight up BEV isn't a terribly complicated engineering feat except for the batteries, but what batteries? "Advanced Li-ion" is a very vague term. Which chemistry? Which suppliers? If Cobalt-Li-Ion (as laptop and cellphone batteries are) what thermal and physical protections are offered so these things don't turn into incinerators in a collision? If these questions aren't ALREADY nailed, there's no way they will meet a 2010 target. And if they'd nailed these issues, why haven't they told the public? At least Mitsubishi and Subaru (likely first to market) have told us which Li chemistry they're using and who's building the batteries for them.
And it sounds like the Jeep and the Minivan are going to be PHEVs? Even Toyota's been seem some big challenges commercializing that technology, let alone getting it to the point where it makes money. And Chrysler thinks they're going to get it done in less than 2 years?