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Greene 15 (1:38)
Topic(s): Electric & Hybrid / Future Transport
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Well, I think the Prius and the Honda Insight (which came first in the US but second in the world), those are a huge breakthrough in automotive technology. I think hybrid vehicles are because even in 2002, when the National Academy looked at fuel economy, they said, "We don't think the hybrid vehicles can make it in the market. They're just going to be way too expensive and too complex, and they won't work that well. People will find that the battery runs down, and the— all of that was wrong. The Prius and the Insight prove that all of that was wrong- that you can make an economic hybrid vehicle, that it can perform the way the customer wants. I think one of the manufacturers said, "No compromise." I think that's what they delivered, a vehicle with no compromise. It costs more, but you get more in the fuel savings.

And this has introduced electricity into transportation. That's what I think is the real breakthrough. Now we have the first, the beginning of electrified transportation. Electric cars didn't make it. Battery-powered electric cars didn't make it. Some day they might. I don't know, but now we have electricity in transportation, and we're finding the synergies of that. And we're developing better batteries as a result; we're developing cheaper and better motors and controllers. So we're developing the technology that I think we're going to need in the long run, whether we go to hydrogen or whether we go to plug-in hybrid vehicles, or whether eventually we get to battery electric vehicles. The hybrid is a key technology in that step forward into the future.



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