Are Plug-In Hybrids Important? #YouTellUs

July 18, 2011

The battle of the hybrids has become more complicated over the past year, and the complications aren't about to stop. It used to be you either bought a hybrid or you didn't. Now you can buy a hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric car, or conventional gasoline-powered vehicle. But are all these options important?

Some say electric cars like the Nissan Leaf are the future, but that future is a ways off due to the need to install public charging infrastructure. A plug-in hybrid such as the upcoming 2012 Prius Plug-In can be viewed as a stepping stone.

With an electric car, once the battery is depleted you can't drive the vehicle until you recharge. A plug-in hybrid allows you to drive a certain distance on battery power, and then reverts back to being a typical hybrid.

Vehicles like the Chevrolet Volt are even more confusing for some. It has the ability to run on battery power for 20 to 40 miles depending on conditions. It then has a range-extending generator (gasoline engine) that provides power to the depleted battery pack, which then turns the wheels. Many consumers view this as a hybrid, but it's a different kind of hybrid.

Today we ask you if plug-in hybrids are important. 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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