by Allen M
Gotta love advertising
| A few days ago in my daily skulking about the internet my attention was brought to a website about a group of high school kids that built a vehicle that runs off hydrogen and solar power. Now sure this pick-up truck they modified has to ride around with a large ungainly contraption in the bed, but it goes to show that alternative power sources for vehicles aren't exactly out of reach today's level of knowledge and scientific capacity. A few days later the CNN featured a story about some guy with an engineering degree who modified his ordinary hybrid car so that it gets 250 miles to the gallon compared with the 40 to 55 mpg it was supposed to have worked under previously. The drawback is of course he does have to plug it in for charging every so often.
This leaves one obvious question, if a group of teenagers without the benefit of having received a higher education could develop an alternate fuel vehicle; if somone with an engineering degree and relatively little funding can modify his car to get five times the mileage it ordinarily receives, then why does a power with the funding of a corporate automotive giant and and world-class research and development department not bother to do the same? Surely with all the possible benefits such cars can offer (which I won't go into at the moment as I'm sure everyone is throughly familiar with them anyways) it would have to be a very significant force keeping car manufacturers from producing cars of this sort. That same CNN article explained what this force is.
Inconvenience. Yes, you see, when the car manufacturers advertised ordinary hybrid vehicles, one of the cornerstones of their ad campaigns was that these cars do not need to be plugged in. A car like that mentioned above would require being plugged in; therefore it would be something of a bother for carmakers to simply go back on their advertising spiels in order to be able to release a vastly superior and more capable product. Way to develop priorities guys.