Optimum Car?

Optimum Car?..

The type of car people should own has now become a political issue.

The administration is pushing battery powered vehicles, BEVs, in an effort to eliminate gasoline powered ICEs which have served people very well.

What would be the optimum type of vehicle, given efficiency, cost, and emissions? This article confines itself to basic issues, while some other reviews include compact vehicles, pricing of models, and features. 

Setting aside hydrogen powered vehicles because of their lack of availability and little support from the auto industry and politicians in general, we can review key features of ICEs, BEVs, and Hybrids.


Gasoline powered vehicles have become very efficient as measured by miles per gallon of fuel. The current EPA standard for 2026 is 40 mpg, i.e.fleet average. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), said this would result in a fleet wide average improvement of 12 mpg for 2026 models compared with 2021.

Fuel is readily available throughout the country and it only takes a few minutes to refuel a vehicle. 

Range for most ICEs is around 400 miles.

The power train requires routine service, such as oil changes.


BEVs require large batteries that can weigh over 1,500 pounds. They use rare materials, such as Lithium, Cobalt, and Nickel, that must be imported from foreign countries. China’s CATL is a major supplier of Lithium-phosphate batteries with a plant using CATL technology being proposed for Michigan.

Range for BEVs priced below $60,000 is typically 250 to 300 miles.

Recharging batteries can take 20 minutes to an hour with a fast charger, otherwise it can take several hours with a level 1 or 2 charger.

While routine maintenance is minimal, batteries degrade slightly over time.


Like ICE vehicles, hybrids are easy to fuel: And like ICEs, require routine service.

The Lithium-ion battery used in hybrids is considerably smaller than the battery used in a BEV, so that 25 or more hybrids can be built with the materials required by a single BEV.

While it can still take several hours to recharge the battery, it can be done at home, overnight, without causing delays.

Since the average trip by US drivers is only 37 miles per day, it’s possible for drivers to rely on gasoline for the preponderance of daily commuting. The owner of a hybrid can get over a hundred miles per gallon of gas for day-to-day routine local driving, while still being able to rely on gasoline for long, two or three hundred mile trips.

Toyota Hybrid


Hybrids are far superior to BEVs by avoiding substantial use of imported and difficult to mine materials. Hybrids are also less harmful to the environment than BEVs.

Hybrids can be more fuel efficient than ICE vehicles.

If anything, the administration should be encouraging the use of hybrids, not BEVs.

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12 Replies to “Optimum Car?”

  1. BravO that you are back. We have missed you.

    Excellent comparison on vehicle types as the BEV is losing some of its star power. In crash tests, BEVs catch fire if the battery pack is damaged. A 30 mph crash test shows that this can happen even at that low of a speed/impact.

    Does or will nuclear ever surface as power for personal vehicles? The military use of nuclear energy has been tested, improved and dependable. What is the wait for passing this technology to civilian use?

  2. Donn,
    Glad to see you back! Yes, you write very well. I love your ability to create short succinct yet packed with facts messages!
    Keep up the Great work!🇺🇸🇺🇸

  3. Indeed, hybrids combine the best of ICEs and BEVs. According to Walser Toyota, …the 2023 Prius will have a best-to-date 57 combined MPG and is equipped with an 11.3-gallon fuel tank, giving owners just over 640 miles of range on a single tank… What I find fascinating is the city miles per gallon is almost the same as the highway miles per gallon. If our nation were to focus on the most efficient use of resources instead of virtue signaling, hybrid vehicles would be the centerpiece of our nation’s transportation policy.

  4. So glad to know you’re still on the job.

    Hybrids benefit little from batteries at highway speeds. Replacing Hybrid batteries is expensive. There is more to maintain than an ICE vehicle. Hybrids may be a better choice than BEVs but ICE are the best choice especially if CO2 is not the enemy.

    Hang in there.