Volkswagon enters electric car fray

My second favorite automaker, VW (partially owned by my favorite automaker, Porsche), has finally decided to enter the electric/hybrid market, possibly as soon as 2010. VW has long been a provider of diesel cars that get great mileage and both VW and Porsche have made pretty efficient gasoline engines for decades (e.g. some 911s get almost 30 mpg and my 13-year-old Jetta with 245,000 miles on it still gets 34 mpg despite my less-than stellar driving and maintenance habits). It appears as if the technology will be a diesel-electric hybrid which would be cool since you could use fry oil from Mickey D’s as your fuel of choice. I have often dreamed of buying a mid-1980s Porsche 911 and turning it into a hybrid (I will also admit that Tesla is testing my Porsche/VW loyalty – lucky for the Germans I ain’t rich enough to buy a Tesla, though a sedan is supposedly in the works). Thing is, for those of you who don’t know this, I have a 180-mile round-trip commute so, with gas prices headed into the stratosphere, I’ll have to do something soon. Now if only I could get John Deere to get in on the act. I guess I could always retrofit my tractor with an electric engine…

Update: And, honestly, I’ve been wondering for several years now why, if these kids at West Philly High (a public inner-city school) can do it, why can’t the big boys? Turns out these kids have entered the automotive X Prize competition as well and Popular Mechanics has picked them as a top 10 contender (out of 64 entries).

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