Richard Factor: ‘I have nothing but admiration for Elon Musk (yesterday’s column). I even used him as an example when I gave advice to Warren Buffett a month or so ago. I’m extremely impressed by his Roadster and follow-on plans. It’s people like him who, at their own expense, prove to the world that great advances are possible. Or perhaps not – obviously some skepticism is warranted in a big project like this. I wish him the best of luck, and may get on line for version 2, or even version 1 if I’m feeling flush. But, I would like to take issue with one brief and gratuitous statement in his article: ‘As a friend of mine says, a world 100% full of Prius drivers is still 100% addicted to oil.’ Perhaps so, but it would be a world addicted to HALF AS MUCH oil, at least as far as transportation is concerned. No more imports! Not to mention a greatly reduced price of gasoline, excess refinery capacity, and the political benefits of not being held hostage to the countries that supply our habit. And I would be irresponsible if I didn’t mention the other benefits of the Prius, as detailed at www.PriUPS.com: ‘Energy independence’ for individual homeowners along with potential benefits for the electric grid in case of terrorism or natural disasters. Of course neither the Prius scenario or an all-electric one will happen overnight. But we know for a fact that hybrids have enormous benefits, and I for one am hopeful that Elon Musk can prove his electric car is both viable and as beneficial as he says.’

☞ If you didn’t already guess it, Richard loves his Prius. ‘I routinely get about 50 mpg in mine, in a land where we have winter, and on a commute where there is an elevation change from end-to-end, both of which tend to reduce one’s mileage. Under even better conditions, people report 55 mpg.’ You can see a log of his mileage here.

 

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