In an interview with Inside Line, Wolfgang Hatz, head of powertrain for Volkswagen Group, had some harsh words for hybrids. Wolfgang said VW only makes hybrids because of political pressure, Toyota would have problems if they had to produce hybrids in high volume and the car industry would go bankrupt if someone said all cars had to be hybrids. Wolfgang said all this when he was asked "will hybrid become the dominant power source in the next few years?" and here is the full response:

Hybrid technology is a very expensive way to save a small amount of fuel. The cost/benefit analysis is quite on the expensive side, but we're politically pressed to develop hybrids by the U.S. market. If someone said that every car must be a hybrid, the car industry would be bankrupt quicker than anything else. Even Toyota would have problems if they had to produce hybrids in high volumes. But politically we have to do a certain amount of hybrids.

Wolfgang thinks VW will have have higher market share with clean diesels than hybrids in America because "people who drive a diesel never go back to gas." Wolfgang also thinks there is too much emphasis on C02 and "saying that we should only drive small cars is like saying that we should all live in tiny apartments." The interview ends with Wolfgang saying fuel cells won't be an alternative for the next 30 years but gas will be around in 30 years.

What do you think would happen to the car industry if someone mandated every new car be a hybrid?

[Source: Inside Line]

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