2011 Chevrolet Volt: The Importance of Stop-Gap Technology
February 06, 2012
The Chevrolet Volt, and to a greater extent, plug-in hybrids, remind me of the combo VHS/DVD players from over a decade ago. Back then, many people were invested in their VHS tape collection and were hesitant to embrace the better, but more expensive DVD technology. The electronics companies noted this slow adoption rate, and released these VHS/DVD hybrids as a stop-gap measure. They offered the best of both worlds.
One day, we'll look back on plug-in hybrids as the automotive equivalent of the combo media player. We'll tell our grandkids, that back in the day, some people were afraid that their electric car would leave them stranded, so they bought cars with a back-up gas engine to extend the range.
Some people are quick to dismiss the Volt for not being more a pure EV. But the truth is that not everyone is willing to go all-electric. I wonder if having a gas station on every corner is the equivalent of having a big VHS collection -- it reinforces a fear of taking a risk on a new format.
We need stop-gap technology like the Volt to bridge the gap until we have a more extensive charging infrastructure -- or until more people can get past their range anxiety.
What are your thoughts on the future of plug-in hybrids and EVs?
Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Associate