Hybrid Vehicle Technology and Trends

Hybrid options are broadening in more vehicle classes and styles


After the 10-year period, we will be able to purchase the system, and for years 11 to 20, be largely operating on free, renewable electricity. We will be using that energy to power our building, our own fleet vehicles and our employee’s plug-in cars.

If the natural gas market continues to expand, and prices remain low, we expect to see natural gas hybrid cars enter the market. There is already considerable interest in hybridizing the many natural gas transit buses that are in use today.

WORLD OIL MARKET

Looking ahead, the future of the world oil market seems pretty uncertain. It’s possible nothing major on the geopolitical front will happen, and we’ll be looking at a future of relative calm and price stability. The oil industry has developed new technology and is now fracking for oil in new and ingenious ways.

Then again, things could go south and we could see continued volatility and price spikes. To deal with this uncertainty, many of the leading fleet managers are taking steps to increase efficiency, reduce oil consumption and incorporate substitutes.

In summary, we are moving into an unprecedented era where fleet managers will have options to significantly reduce their dependence on oil, improve their bottom line and do what is good for the environment.

In addition to the hybrid cars, there are a growing number of natural gas, all-electric and even fuel cell vehicles that will soon be available to fleets. There is good product out there now that can help fleets achieve these goals today. There will be even more choices in the future.

John Boesel is president and CEO of CALSTART, an organization that operates nationally and works with a diverse member-base of business, fleets and government to develop and implement clean, efficient transportation solutions. www.calstart.org. The organization is dedicated to the growth of a clean transportation technologies industry that will: clean the air; secure the nation’s transportation energy future; create high-quality economic opportunities; and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

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