Just some random thoughts about hybrid cars…
I've always been a little interested in alternative fuels, not because I care about the environment, but because I hate the idea of giving so much of my hard-earned income to the bastards at the Big Oil companies. After some research, I've learned two things:
- It's very possible and not very hard to convert a normal car that runs on desiel to a a car that runs on vegetable oil. This is appealing to me because it would allow me to take vegetable oil used by restaurants, that I could presumably get for free since they normally have to pay someone to take it away, and pump it into a car to use as fuel… This would basically mean free fuel for the life of my car. Of course, the logistics of doing this are a little more complicated. Still, it's very possible. By the way, as a side-effect, this causes the converted "grease" cars to get greater gas milage, too.
- It's very possible to perform a conversion on a hybrid car to allow it to be plugged in at night, thus supplementing the power it would normally have to get from the gasoline engine. This is interesting to me because it would give me the choice of using energy from the power grid for my travel around town, which makes up a vast majority of what I use my car for. If I was interested in the environment, I'd probably also be thrilled with the fact that I'd be using hydroelectric, nuclear, and coal as a source of energy instead of crude oil, but again, I'm more concerned about choosing where my money goes rather than how it impacts the environment.
So here we have two very interesting but very different approaches to channeling my weekly energy tithe away from Big Oil. You could take the latter approach a step further and get a solar panel to plug your car into, but I haven't investigated the wattage requirements of a plug-in hybrid nor the cost of a solar panel large enough to meet said requirements.
But what if they came out with a desiel hybrid? It would then, in theory, be possible to have a vegetable-oil-powered vehicle that could be plugged-in at night. You'd never need traditional fuel at all, and depending on your driving habits, you wouldn't really need much vegitable oil either. Interesting stuff.