When it comes to efficient automobiles most people think of how many miles per gallon the vehicle gets. But how do you relate that with a plug-in electric car? It gets unlimited miles to the gallon if it has no engine, but it costs money to charge it up. For instance, I have a golf cart, and it costs me about a $1.80 to fill it up on a full charge and theoretically I can go about 15 or 20 miles. Indeed in a way that’s about the same amount of cost as if I got 40 miles a gallon in the car. Do you see my point?How but a hybrid which has an engine, but also runs on electric power? When it’s running on electric car power it doesn’t use any fuel, but it does use electricity and it does cost money. Also you must understand that our energy costs are going to go up due to supply and demand issues and all the regulations being put on the coal-fired energy generation plants. And when the batteries run down the hybrid engine starts and it does use fuel. See my point?So how do you choose which car is most efficient? All of a sudden you can’t compare MPG ratings anymore, and it matters what kind of driving you do; whether it’s in the city or on the highway as to exactly how long those batteries will last you. But it gets even more complicated than that, and I doubt if you’re going to find any help from the government which regulates miles per gallon requirements of modern automobiles.Indeed there was an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal on this topic published on May 20, 2011 which was titled “U.S. Abandons Proposal to Give Cars Letter Grades” by Josh Mitchell and Stephen Power. The article discussed how only hybrids or electric cars could receive an A+, A, or A- grade, and this concerned auto makers, auto dealers, and caught the ire of the Alliance of automobile manufacturers, as it seemed unfair.Especially at a time when 4-cylinder car sales are up by 50% and they are selling like hotcakes, not only saving the industry, but they’ve become the mainstay for the sales at the local dealerships. Plus, many hybrids for instance the Toyota Prius have an 18-month waiting list and other hybrids and all-electric cars are having parts challenges thanks to the Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami.Are you beginning to see why this is going to be a challenge for consumers and car buyers in the future? Still, we have more questions than answers, but it’s up to you to do your homework and know what kind of driving you are most likely going to do in your automobile. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.