Hybrids are "yesterday's technology"?!?
"With respect to Detroit, it is not good enough to advance by 2012 an ambitious strategy of having 14 different models at GM of hybrids -- when hybrids are yesterday's technology," Newsom said at a conference here sponsored by Newsweek on the future of the auto industry.
He said automakers must move more quickly to plug-in hybrids, noting hybrids like the Toyota Prius have been on the market since 1997.
"We need a very dramatic shift in mentality of Detroit," Newsom said.
They still aren't entirely affordable, and not every model can make a profit at market prices. The batteries are still very expensive, as well as the power electronics and drivetrain. Hybrids still haven't caught on in volume, with one model (Prius) breaking the 100,000 unit/year sales rate.
If the California legislature had any cojones, they would tax vehicles with poor fuel economy, or institute a high fuel tax. But they won't because then the voters would throw them out of work.
So instead, they shout at Detroit, "Build us a unicorn!", as if Detroit has unicorns stashed away in the basement of ever R&D lab, under digital lock and armed guard.
Things just aren't that simple.