Ask Our Experts

Answers to your questions about gardening, energy, homesteading and other sustainable living topics.

Add to My MSN

Hybrid Minivan in the Near Future

4/12/2012 4:51:50 PM

Tags: hybrid minivan, electric minivan, Bradley Berman

Hybrid MinivanI am really interested in a hybrid or electric car, but I need something large enough to transport the whole family. Why aren’t there any hybrid or electric minivans? 

There isn’t an all-electric or gasoline-electric hybrid minivan available in the United States. That’s been frustrating to North American families who want a vehicle with great gas mileage and three rows of seats, plus plenty of room for cargo.

The Toyota Estima hybrid minivan, which satisfies some of those desires, was introduced in Japan more than a decade ago. But apparently the bean-counters at car companies look at minivans’ relatively small slice of the U.S. automotive market — ditto for hybrids — and see a hybrid minivan as a risky proposition. Besides, the few European and Asian seven-seaters are quite a bit smaller than American minivans. Common wisdom suggests that North Americans won’t squeeze in (or dispense with creature comforts such as a gazillion cup holders, each capable of handling a Big Gulp).

At the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, Chrysler Chief Executive Sergio Marchionne said the company would add a hybrid minivan to its lineup as early as 2013, but news of progress since has been scant. Some journalists characterize Nissan’s e-NV200 concept as an electric minivan (see more in Best Fuel-Efficient Cars by Each Automaker, Now and Later), but a three-row configuration is only a remote possibility. The Ford C-Max Hybrid, which seats five and will go on sale later this year, looks too small to qualify as a minivan.

So, at this point, large families who want a hybrid will have to settle for an SUV with seven seats such as the Toyota Highlander Hybrid (28 mpg) or Ford’s Escape Hybrid (34 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway). A great option for medium-sized families is the new Prius V (42 mpg), a roomy wagon with fold-down back seats for extra cargo. The V stands for versatile, and this new version of the popular Prius seats five, with 34.3 cubic feet of cargo room.

— Bradley Berman, Founder HybridCars.com and PluginCars.com 

Image courtesy Ford 



Related Content

$25 DIY Greenhouse

You can build a small greenhouse in an afternoon!

Landrace Gardening: Replanting Hybrids

How to use hybrids in a landrace garden.

Climate Change and the World's Future Fuel Choice

As the world's demand for electricity continues to climb so will the need for new power plants. We n...

Geothermal Electricity Picks up Steam

We have the power! If geothermal resources were tapped across the United States, they could provide ...

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 

Umar Bargatt
11/19/2012 10:55:46 AM
please we need hybird van asap







Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.