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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

March 2, 2009 at 4:47 PM

Plug-in hybrids

A work in progress

Danny Westneat is very much correct [“Reality check on plug-in cars,” staff column, Local News, Feb. 22] in his criticism of Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). Technology today, as delivered, is not economically viable.

Seattle spent $10,000 to convert every Prius; their fuel efficiency has not justified such an expense.

Argonne National Laboratory has been testing aftermarket-PHEV conversions. They find there are reasons to get excited, yet still a lot of work to do.

Green mania is overtaking everyone; tax dollars are going to be spent claiming economic stimulus through more green jobs. More money needs to go into research and development of better, greener technology, not just the auto industry.

But, research and development isn’t economic stimulus.

I don’t own a hybrid and, unless one of my vehicles dies, I likely won’t buy any new vehicle soon. If I can wait a few years, I’ll buy something new that plugs in and comes from the factory–whether it’s a PHEV or a purely-electric vehicle.

— Ken Grubb, Puyallup

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