While car enthusiasts spent much of the 1990s eagerly awaiting usable hybrid technology, there’s speculation in the naughts that the hybrid may soon go the way of the Betamax. Or the DVD. (You’ll stop smirking, Blu-ray, when you consider the fate of the VHS.)
The newest big thing, eco-carwise, is the range-extended electric vehicle (REEV). If last month’s Detroit Auto Show is any indication, the REEV just may send the hybrid on a journey to the middle of nowhere.
REEVs are powered by an electric motor that you can plug in at home. Depending on the battery, it’s likely to take between 4 and 8 hours to get a full charge. The vehicle can then go between 20 and 60 miles before a gas, ethanol, diesel or hydrogen generator takes over to recharge the batteries, providing an extended range.