Man, what's with everyone harshing on the Chevy Volt? First it was Toyota, which took a shot at Chevy's series hybrid on its Open Road blog and then attempted to defend its comments in a future posting. Now Honda has jumped into the fray, swinging wildly away at the Great Hybrid Hope from the bow tie brand. This past Tuesday, Honda's chief exec Takeo Fukui told journalists that "so-called" plug-in hybrid gasoline-electric vehicles didn't do enough for the environment, so his company isn't going to pursue them. Not satisfied at leaving it at that, he noted the Chevy Volt specifically and said it made little sense. Fukui said Honda is working on high-performing lithium batteries, and if they succeed a pure battery-powered electric vehicle is in its future.
What bothers us about Toyota and Honda going after General Motors and its plans for the Chevy Volt is simply the fact that they're bothering to address the Volt at all. Stop worrying about what the other guy's doing and get to work on your own plan for saving the Earth from the evil of the internal combustion engine. We get it, you both aren't down with doing a plug-in series hybrid like the Volt. Then what are you going to do and where is it? Rather than claiming consumers aren't going to respond well to a hybrid that has to be plugged in everyday (yeah, who wants to get their fuel from the outlet in their garage rather than driving down the street for it?), quit yer yappin' and show us a better solution!

We're not claiming the Volt will be a silver bullet for saving the environment. In fact, it's likely an even shorter stop gap between the cars we drive today and pure electric vehicles that sacrifice nothing in terms of range and durability than the common parallel hybrids we drive today. Battery technology, however, isn't there yet, and if the Volt can provide consumers super high fuel economy in the meantime, is that a bad thing? Perhaps for Toyota and Honda it is.

[Source: Wall Street Journal - sub. req'd, photo by Toshifumi Kitamura/AFP/Getty]

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