Las Vegas Sun

May 28, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

It’s easy to make a case for hybrids

I can’t possibly imagine a worse defense of gasoline hybrid cars than the lazy column written by Prof. Michael E. Kraft in Sunday’s Sun.

Kraft begins his article by dissing hybrids in general by saying, “These vehicles certainly have their limitations.” And then shares a complaint by “some drivers” that hybrids lack in acceleration. Even if poor acceleration were true, that is not a limitation; a limitation is not being able to drive the same long distances that current gas engines do, or not fill up at a regular gas station.

I wonder if the same anonymous drivers that Kraft quotes also complain that hybrids can’t fly, swim though water or perform complicated medical operations like normal gas engines do?

It’s also bothersome that Kraft never admits to test driving any hybrids. I have a Prius, and I’ve driven a Fusion Hybrid. The Prius has as much zip as any economy car I’ve driven and the Fusion drives as well as cars in its class.

The second criticism is that hybrids don’t make economic sense because they don’t make up for their increase in sticker price over what they’ve saved in gas.

If Kraft did a tiny bit of research, he might have seen the article that Consumer Reports magazine does every year about the best value listing for cars, and the Prius consistently lands at or near the top.

Consumer Reports does methodical research and factors in the cost of driving the car, maintenance and depreciation over a period of time, among other things. It also seems that hybrids in general are more reliable than their gasoline counterparts and thus in demand, so their depreciation and long-term maintenance costs are much less.

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