Lexus HybridAt the Advanced Powertrain Forum, held in Traverse City, MI, Dave Hermance with the Toyota Technical Center USA voiced his frustration with media reports criticizing hybrid's real-world fuel economy. As the author of this article states, the honeymoon is ending for hybrids in this regard. Hermance mentioned that future hybrid converts will be drawn to them by performance, not just fuel economy. We couldn't agree with him more, in fact we're starting to feel like a broken record with this. Manufacturers are beginning to realize that they cannot play the 'green' side of hybrids for long. Regardless, other news from the Forum indicates that battery life is better than expected in production hybrids, with taxi hybrids operating more than 150,000 miles on their original batteries. Questions still exist on how age will affect battery performance, but most experts agree that the batteries should last the life of the car. Our only beef is with the eventual recycling headache these batteries will represent. Who will pay for this battery disposal, the original owners, the current owners, the manufacturers, or the government? Or will they end up in salvage yards and eventually leak into the environment?


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