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 ‘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.


Comments are closed.