The love affair with hybrids just got a boost. Recent research suggests hybrid vehicles are the most efficient choice for replacing everyday transportation dependency on petroleum. As described in the online journal Energy Policy, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University say that under a broad range of scenarios, hybrid vehicles--whether plug-in or not--are the most cost effective and efficient choices.
Their conclusions were drawn from finding that the maximum cost per gallon savings for increased electric range is 5 to 40 percent less than the minimum cost per gallon saved when charging infrastructure was installed to accommodate vehicles that could not be charged at home or required an alternative fuel not already available. They also predict that as battery prices continue to go down, the lifetime cost savings will continue to rise, putting hybrids in even better position as the clear option.
They point out that the building of electric charging infrastructure becomes mostly unnecessary for serving plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and that enough petroleum-replacement can occur through home charging alone to make hybrids the best option. This is not the case, they suggest, for full electric vehicles.