Tesla's Elon Musk Says Plug-In Hybrid Cars Are, Ummmm, Frogs

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Mr. Toad's wild ride

Mr. Toad's wild ride

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Working at Tesla Motors must be a lot of fun for many reasons. There's the chance of driving a lightning-fast 2011 Tesla Roadster Sport 2.5, for one.

Then there's the chance that you'll be privy to hearing your CEO say something untrue. Or just wacky.

Our latest example: On the sidelines of Tesla's ceremonial opening of its Fremont, California, assembly plant, Elon Musk tells GreenTechMedia why he considers plug-in hybrids to be essentially like amphibians.

frog test

frog test

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We don't happen to agree with his preimse; we think battery electric vehicles (which is all that Tesla makes) are likely to coexist with plug-in hybrids and range-extended electric cars for decades to come. Along with hundreds of millions of gasoline and diesel vehicles.

But watch CEO Musk in his explanation ... and then tell us what you think. Is he right?

Will plug-in hybrids fade away, as a large number of amphibian species have done over the aeons?

Leave us your thoughts in the Comments below.

 
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Comments (7)
  1. i dont think there is any question. evs will totally dominate much sooner than any experts seem to think.

  2. I think he was holding back. What he used to say is that cars with what amounts to double drivetrains like the Volt are neither fish nor fowl. Now he seems to acknowledge at least a transitory role for cars like this. Obviously he has to acknowledge that despite it's Frankenstein nature the Volt is an engineering triumph. Apparently it's a great ride and it does overcome the problems of battery electrics. Well at least for those who can afford the price tag that comes with the extreme part count. I fear complex cars like the Volt will always be overpriced, over engineered and overweight making them -like amphibians- a niche phenomenon in the evolution of electric motoring.

  3. I agree with ev enthusiast, at the rate we are able to evolve technology in today's world we may just see EVs on the road sooner. And as for Mr. Musk's comment, I thought it was a nice polite way to sum up how cars are evolving.

  4. Of course he's right in comparing plug-in hybrids to amphibians. In the long-term future, there will be more EVs than hybrids. Amphibians aren't completely extinct, and the evolution from water to land took millions of years, so the analogy is far from radical. Realistically, we know we can't be using gasoline forever because we'll eventually run out, and it will get prohibitively expensive long before that. How long will it take before we completely stop using fossil fuels for transportation? I would love to see it happen in the next 25 years, but I know that's not realistic. 100 years is realistic.

  5. gosh, i dont understand why so many people think that gas transportation is gonna be around for so long !!!
    do you really think we will still be putting gas in our cars 25 years from now ?
    that is basically 25 years from the start of the sales of evs. almost none of our current gas cars will still be on the road. and it will be long since when the gas car had any advantages.
    i simply dont see that frame of time logic.

  6. gosh, i dont understand why so many people think that gas transportation is gonna be around for so long !!!
    do you really think we will still be putting gas in our cars 25 years from now ?
    that is basically 25 years from the start of the sales of evs. almost none of our current gas cars will still be on the road. and it will be long since when the gas car had any advantages.
    i simply dont see that frame of time logic.

  7. No analogy is perfect, but the amphibian/hybrid one is pretty good. Hybrid automobiles are a dead-end technology, overly complex machines with a dubious increase in efficiency.

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