As (un)luck would have it, I have found myself in the market for a ‘new to me’ car. Given that I enjoy driving a manual, and the only real options with this transmission these days seem to be old or very expensive, I was struggling to find a car that fitted the bill. Given the press electric cars have received recently I thought I would have a bit of a gander at alternative fuelling technologies, especially as public chargers are becoming more prevalent.
Hybrid cars are relatively common place these days and are available and affordable on the second hand market, but limited styles means that a concerted choice needs to be made that a hybrid is what you want.
Electric cars are becoming more common, but in general are either more akin to a toy car or very expensive. Limited public charging, and the time it takes to charge a car, are still quite restrictive, but this is improving and the electric highway will help to get rental car companies on board, which in turn will add further incentive for public charging
Personally I believe plug in hybrids are an ideal solution (particularly in the short-medium term) to fit into the NZ drivers lifestyle. The ability to operate purely on batteries for commuting type trips mean these offer many of the benefits of electric cars, but should longer trips eventuate or charging doesn’t happen, the petrol/hybrid engine kicks in. Performance wise these cars compete with current technologies, so driving enjoyment is maintained, and to the untrained eye the cars are indistinguishable to standard models. Unfortunately the plug in hybrid market is very new with limited, expensive cars, but no doubt this will improve as time marches on.
So, as someone who enjoys driving and appreciates a car but has limited budget, standard technology has won out this time. I am sure the replacement car in 5 years’ time will be a different story entirely.