The Automotive Riddle

While sales remain brisk for gas-guzzling Bentley, Ferrari and Aston Martin supercars, sustainable technology is still the most salient topic in broader automotive circles.

The gas-electric hybrid era led by Toyota, Honda and Ford — with the odd hybrid turning up in now most major manufacturer line-ups –- has now settled into a vanguard role, leading the way to the next evolutionary step.

But the roll-out of plug-in electrics has been more problematic as the auto industry grapples with wide variations in battery performance from the Mitsubishi i-MiEV’s 62 mile range per charge and the Nissan Leaf which ups its range in 2014 to 84 miles from last year’s 76 per charge.

The Tesla S electric sedan claiming 300 miles per charge, disqualified those stats with warnings against over-using the 15 percent higher Max Range charging option at risk of reducing battery-life. The Tesla S is more likely to go 200 – 225 miles per charge at consistent highway speeds.

The new BMW i3 offers an 88 mile range, with a 2 cylinder gas range extender option. Beyond mileage and solid BMW quality, the i3 boasts many recycled materials and an American-made carbon fiber reinforced structure.

This George Polgar of GT Marketing for KYW News Radio.