Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Perseverance (Or-Getting Over the Fear of Looking Stupid and Having "Them" Laugh)

There's an insightful story those hard-working Toyodans in the San Francisco Chronicle ("Behind Toyota's Hybrid Revolution") . Robert Collier examines the woes (and later successes) of the first generation Prius' development. Engineers working two twelve-hour shifts, over weekends, missing vacations to build a more efficient car in a climate of cheap $15/barrel oil must have seemd ridiculous at the time, but it's looking like that dedication paid off.

Of course, they couldn't stop there-Toyota is not a company to rest on its laurels in the face of adverse situations, high gasoline prices being one them. Plans are seemingly in the works for the third generation of their wildly popular Prius hybrid, one that gets even greater mileage and has the potential to be plugged into an electrical outlet. Why would you do this? To extend the range of course, with the ability to drive in an all-electric mode in the city or stop-and-go Beltway traffic. And there's more....

From Green Car Congress:

"According to The Guardian, [Shinichi] Abe, who heads Toyota’s hybrid development program, further commented that future Toyota hybrids will be able to operate as mobile generators, and that the company is interested in the addition of electrical charging outlets to traditional gas stations as a step towards a petroleum-free future."

I'll delve more into the benefits of plugging-in tomorrow, but check out this quick primer first. Maybe, at some point in the near future folks will understand why this self-proclaimed car guy has outgrown a mildly juvenile preoccupation with the throaty rumble of a domestic V-8. These days, I'm more in lust with the quietish, almost demonic wail of a Jetsons-like high-performance electric speedster. You know, something on the order of 0-60mph in 3 seconds. Something like the Wrightspeed X1....

But we must not forget that little issue of perseverence. It takes bold leadership, personal devotion, and uncommon faith in one's convictions to jump out there and go shooting blindly in the dark. The rewards come when your intiution was right. Or maybe you just learned something really cool along the way. The cliched lesson is, you never know 'til you try.


Blogger Brittastic said...

This makes me feel really bad that I'm taking my gas-guzzling BMW all the way up to Chicago today.

Bad me.

9:23 AM  
Blogger emeeul said...

Hey Britt. I once owned two gas-guzzling SUV's...a 1987 and a 1979 Land Cruiser. Not only did they get about 14mpg highway, but filling up as recently as last summer was, well let's say I'd shed a tear like that Native American guy on the litter commercials. It didn't help to have a "Save the Bay" bumper sticker either.

I'd planned to convert both of them to biodiesel but Toyota makes really good diesel engines, and good comes at a hefty price.

Fun vehicles, but now I have more disposable income and that's even more fun. Think though, BMW has a handful of hydrogen-burning 750HL's (V-12!)

2:46 PM  
Blogger Brittastic said...

Lol, so now I too will know the fun (is being energy conscious fun?) of Toyota ownership...I was bringing the Beamer up to the Chi to make a trade-in on a Camry. Lucky me!

9:54 AM  
Anonymous RedHotMama said...

thank you for this.

11:43 PM  

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