I want a plug-in hybrid. A vehicle with lithium-ion batteries good for 40-45 miles, two wheel drive, a six speed computer controlled transmission with a computer that starts a small generator; an 11 hp portable generator is rated for 6200 watts, and yes, burns gas, for now. Modular construction would make it easy to replace the gas power generator with a fuel cell or other non-internal combustion power source. Oh yes, laminate into the vehicles roof PV solar cells. A roof size array may only provide an extra 500-600 watts a day, but they would help recharge the batteries during the day when you’re sitting in the parking lot or even running around town.
I think it should weigh about 2,200 lbs, suitable for four adults with the back seats that fold flat to create open space. A nice sound system and 16 inch wheels with 8 – 9 inches of clearance (our streets are in bad shape, we need the clearance).
And I’d like to buy it for under $20,000. Detroit, this should not be difficult. Electric cars with a 40 mile range were sold commercially 90 years ago. Certainly we’ve made some technical advances since then. And consider, compared to large internal combustion engines, electric motors are inexpensive to build plus with less weight and standardized components, this should not be hard to build at under $20,000.
Oh yes, let’s go test driving in September, 2010.