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The Electric Vehicle Bubble Didn’t Just Burst. It Imploded

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Electric Vehicles

The momentum towards making electric vehicles (EVs) the dominant transportation choice in American society is slowing down, with one automotive expert and car enthusiast suggesting that hybrid vehicles will lead the way.

David Tracy

David Tracy, a former auto engineer and the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Autopian, a website for car enthusiasts, explained to Fox News that hybrids offer a blend of electric and gas-powered options, making them a practical choice. While Tracy supports EVs, he also admits his passion for traditional gasoline cars and discusses the advantages and challenges of owning an EV.


He highlighted that the suitability of an EV depends on individual circumstances, driving habits, and location, emphasizing that the U.S. still lacks the necessary infrastructure and consumer readiness for a complete shift to EVs, especially due to limited charging options.

Charging stations

Tracy suggested that for drivers without convenient access to EV charging stations, hybrids are a more viable option. “I think, ultimately, the push is to reduce CO2 emissions,” Tracy said. “That means independent of whatever method you used to get there, we got to reduce emissions. So some automakers are focusing on hybrids, some automakers are focusing on electric cars. The overall goal, though, is to reduce emissions through whatever means necessary.”

Hybrid vehicles

He foresees that in the upcoming years, the auto industry will prioritize hybrid vehicles more as a response to the demands of the market. “The interest in electric cars is still there, it’s still growing, but it’s not growing as fast as it did before and that indicates that people want hybrids,” he said. “A lot of automakers … they said, ‘No, we’re done with hybrids, we’re going straight to electric cars.’ That, I think, was a bit foolish. People are not ready.”

Fully electric

“Not everyone’s ready to go fully electric, and everybody knows that,” he added. “But offering hybrids, I think, is where we’re going to go in the near term and it’s going to be a combination of fully electric cars – and for many people that’s a great solution – and it’s going to be hybrids.”


“I think between those two, it’s going to eventually converge to electric, but you’ll have hybrids in the interim as the infrastructure builds up.” Among Tracy’s collection of eight cars, he possesses two electric vehicles: a first-generation Nissan Leaf and a BMW i3 equipped with a gasoline range extender.


“They’re great on maintenance, they’re fun to drive, they’re cheap, you can get them reasonably cheaply because of federal rebates,” he said. “If you have a place to charge, they’re fantastic.”


“Now, some of the downsides, of course, the infrastructure isn’t perfect, and especially if you don’t own a Tesla, there’s some planning that you’re going to have to factor into any trip. If you want to buy a new one, even with rebates, they’re a little bit pricier, but they’re basically getting there in terms of cost parity.”


However, he acknowledged that there is undoubtedly more effort needed to ensure that charging stations are functional and accessible. “I wasn’t really concerned because I live in the L.A. area where the infrastructure is not that bad. It’s actually pretty decent relative to the rest of the country,” he said. “Once you really arm yourselves with the right [charging locator] apps, you can actually not only know where pretty much all the charging stations are, but what is their reputation for uptime.”

Gas costs

“If you live in a place where gas costs are high, it’s great to not have to pay $5 a gallon or even $3, nobody likes paying for gas, so that’s great,” he added. “If you can charge at home like I can or at work, man, having an electric car is a godsend, especially here in California where gas is over $5 … It’s a such a great thing.”

Public charger

He highlighted that the situation varies for individuals living in apartments, where consistent access to a charging point may not be readily available. “You could go to a public charger and plug in once a week and try to remember to do that, and some people do that, [but] it depends on where you live, that may not be something that really works well for you,” he said.


Tracy emphasized the importance of considering lifestyle factors, such as the local EV infrastructure and driving habits, before purchasing an EV. He believes that an EV is an excellent choice for individuals who have a daily commute to work.

Los Angeles

“I live in Los Angeles, where a 50-mile commute takes like 2.5 hours, so on any given day of the week, I’m not really driving more than 50 miles and I have a place at home where I can charge,” he said. “An electric car for me is perfect, and it’s actually way better than a gasoline car for someone in my circumstances, but that may not be the case for everyone.”

Road trips

Tracy pointed out that when it comes to road trips, drivers need to categorize EVs into Tesla and non-Tesla models, highlighting Tesla’s superior infrastructure compared to other brands. “Luckily, Tesla is starting to share that infrastructure with automakers,” he said. “You can do road trips in Teslas, it’s not a big deal, they charge pretty quickly. You have to plan it more than if you had a gas car, but it’s not really a big deal.”


“If you don’t have Tesla’s supercharger capability, you have to plan it better,” he added. “You have to make sure you’re using your [charging locator] apps and, yeah, it’s a game of planning and some people don’t have the patience for that.”

Oil change

“You don’t have to do an oil change ever, you don’t have to even do brakes pretty much ever because it uses the motor as a regenerative brake, so it slows you down using the motor instead of the actual brake pads,” he said. “There are some challenges, but man, there are some real benefits, too.”


“If you don’t have a place to charge it every day, the idea of having only an electric car, there are lots of people who are kind of just not ready for it yet,” he said. “They’re skeptics and I think a hybrid is a great transition for those people.”

Demand for hybrids

Even with the increasing promotion of EVs and the demand for hybrids, Tracy noted that America has a strong foundation built on gasoline cars and products. He understands that many consumers are hesitant to transition to EVs.


“If you don’t feel like doing it, if you don’t feel like driving an EV, no one’s taking your gasoline car away,” he said. “That’s not going to happen. You may find that the new cars at the dealership, more of them are going to become electrified.”

Great cars

“You might have to choose a hybrid, which you will like, by the way, I guarantee it. If you’re going from a gas car to a hybrid, especially if it’s an automatic transmission, they’re great cars these days, so it’s like it’s not really going to feel like a hit as long as there’s a hybrid option.”

Transmission failing

“You won’t have dumb things like [dealing with] the transmission failing and camshaft position sensors failing, it’s just that much simpler to maintain,” he added. Tracy acknowledged that many Americans are not yet prepared to transition to an EV, which is why he believes hybrids are a more favorable solution.

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