Holy Hybrid! Has Batman Gone Green?

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Batman's fashion statement may be a black body suit and cape, and even his car is black. But is the Caped Crusader going green?

The word is that in the upcoming Batman movie, set for release in 2016 and starring Ben Affleck, the Batmobile will be a hybrid.

The website Jalopnik.com, quoting "a well-placed tipster," says the next Batmobile, like its predecessors, will be a real, drivable car and, after filming, will be used in promotional events. But unlike them, it won't have an ordinary auto engine, but a hybrid-electric drive train.

That's about all Jalopnik.com knows about the new Batmobile, and even that is acknowledged as hearsay, although the website says it is fairly reliable. But it also raises some questions.

If the vehicle is really a hybrid, Jalopnik.com asks, is the goal simply to save fuel, similar to how previous Batmobiles were powered by plain vanilla Chevrolet V-8 engines instead of the jet turbines depicted in the Batman comics? Or will the hybrid drive train be part of the plot of the new movie?

Some of the previous Hollywood-produced Batmobiles were reported to have been turbine powered. And then there were a few Batmobiles built for private use powered by pollution-free hydrogen fuel cells.

Whatever will power the next Batmobile, it does exist, and the director of the upcoming film, Zack Snyder, issued a sneak peek at it on May 11 in a tweet. It included a cropped photo of the Batmobile, and a subsequent Twitter message showed a more thorough look at the car.

Here's Snyder's second tweet:

Could be time to pull the tarp...Tomorrow? http://imgur.com/gallery/Mb1wRn5 

--ZackSnyder (@ZackSnyder) May 12, 2014

Speaking of speculation, CleanTechnica.com wonders what may have prompted Warner Bros., which is producing the film, to use of a hybrid drive train on the Batmobile. The website suggests that it might have been at the insistence not of Snyder but of Affleck himself. The actor is known as an environmentalist, and owns two hybrid cars, a Lexus LS Hybrid and a Prius.

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