Former CIA director weighs in on Hybrid vehicles

Former head of the CIA James Woolsey’s daily driver is a Toyota Prius, and he said in a Motor Trend interview that “if you live in a country dependent on imported oil, it’s your patriotic duty to do the same.”

Woolsey tied his statements to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, adding “we’re paying for both sides in this war, and that’s not a good long-term strategy,”

The article also refers to a recent survey showing that two-thirds of Americans consider buying a more fuel-efficient car to be patriotic, and talks a lot about plug-in hybrid cars and conversions (PHEV).

*"People at the Detroit show were talking about the 2010 model year [for the launch of plug-in hybrids], which is not an eternity," ... The core technology of plug-in hybrids-long-life, fast-charge batteries-has yet to be proven, but that doesn't dismay Woolsey: "There's been a lot of talk about battery technology needing to develop, but this isn't a Manhattan Project with people in white coats standing around dreaming up something new. We're talking about the manufacturing ease and cost of things that already exist. I don't think those who say battery development is going to take a decade are right at all. I think it's going to take very few years."*

Woolsey feels strongly that if Detroit (and foreign) auto makers can bring this technology to market, that buyers will be enthusiastic:

*"Once people realize that, by driving 40 miles a day on electricity, they're driving on fuel one-tenth to one-fifth the cost of even our relatively inexpensive gasoline and furthermore that they're getting [effectively] over 500 mpg beyond that, I think you'll see them standing in line outside dealers."*