Are Plug-In Hybrids A Waste Of Time? #YouTellUs

July 18, 2011

There's a war going on in the automotive universe, a battle between the plug-in hybrids and fully-electric cars. But which side is right, and does it matter?

Nissan has launched the fully-electric Leaf hatchback while Chevrolet has launched the Volt, which is being advertised as an electric car. But these two vehicles aren't the same. The Nissan Leaf can only run on batteries. Once the battery is out of juice, you must recharge before driving again. The Chevrolet Volt has a range-extending engine that can produce electricity once the battery pack is depleted.

Toyota is set to launch the Prius Plug-In next year, while it is also working with Tesla on a fully-electric RAV4 EV. We have already learned the RAV4 EV will not be available for consumers to purchase initially. The Prius Plug-In will have a limited range of 10-15 miles of fully electric driving before it reverts to behaving like a normal Prius.

Automakers are putting quite a bit of time, energy, and resources into producing these plug-in hybrid vehicles. What if these resources were poured into developing fully-electric vehicles? Do we need plug-in hybrids, or should we skip over that chapter and jump straight into electric cars? Are we ready for that?

Today we ask you, are plug-in hybrids a waste of time? Tweet us your response and make sure to include the hashtag #PlugInHybrids -- and you'll join the chorus right here via CoverItLive.

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