Brett Dikeman quattro at frank.mercea.net
Sun Mar 26 14:45:53 EST 2006

On Mar 26, 2006, at 10:25 AM, John Larson wrote:

> While looking into new (and VERY trendy) technologies can be good,  
> Hybrids
> have so far failed to live our to their hype

There's amazingly good "around town"/city and perfect for fleet  
drivers; taxis, light deliveries, etc.  They're just useless on the  
highway (everything that makes a hybrid have "good mileage" on the  
highway can be applied to a non-hybrid) and not cost-effective for  
short-range driving (you need to rack up the miles to make up for the  
cost difference between a hybrid and a similarly equipped non-hybrid.)

One principle reason you haven't seen hybrid+EV cars as "nice" as  
they could be is thanks to the company that owns the patents on NiMH  
(Cobasys) absolutely STRANGLING the NiMH battery industry.   
Basically, Panasonic can't make NiMH battery packs over (it is  
guessed) 10A/hr and sell them in the US for transportation purposes.   
It is likely all the other worldwide manufacturers are similarly  
restricted.  Cobasys, which is linked to Chevron/Texaco, has   
aggressively sued NiMH battery makers and aggressively secured  
patents world-wide.

Sadly, their patents don't expire for another 9-10 years.  That said,  
Lithium Ion technology is only getting better (there are some serious  
issues currently with LiIon packs; they're a PITA to "balance", they  
don't like high currents, they're very low voltage per cell which  
means to need LOTS of cells, etc.)  One of the few remaining  
challenges is expense...


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