Or, here's another idea. Take a regular, gasoline-powered car that's already designed, approved, beloved by many, and on the streets. Remove the engine from that car and—because you specialize in battery power—insert your state-of-the-art electric-propulsion engine into that car's shell. Voila! You have an instant hybrid Mini Cooper, Chrysler Crossfire, PT Cruiser, Smart Car—or what-have-you—that's ready to roll, for little money per mile and little wasted expense on the research. This is exactly what Hybrid Technologies (NASD: HYBT), based in
The downside to converting ready-made cars to alternative energy? Sticker price would be one. First, there's the actual cost of the car. For a PT Cruiser, that sells for $20,000, the conversion practically doubles the cost to the consumer. Now, who would buy a converted car that sells for twice its normal sticker price? Well, the military, the Environmental Protection Agency, famous celebrities—for the status value, and maybe folks like us who would love a green status symbol.
I hope this trend catches on—for the sheer effect of upping the "green is cool" quotient. As far as cost per mile, I'd rather drive a vehicle that's alternative energy-based from the ground up, with a lighter body and an integrated energy-efficient design all-around. But as a stepping stone, you can't fault Hybrid Technologies for having a fun idea.