TO THE EDITOR:
A Christmas morning, 360-mile drive to our son’s home in Michigan in our four-wheel-drive Honda Pilot showed the nonhybrid 21-mpg crossover’s value on snow-covered I-69. Only a short restroom stop for the six-hour trip was needed. No stops to refuel, and no lengthy stops to charge a battery.
Our 2007 Toyota Prius, used for almost half of our 18,000 annual miles, averages 46 mpg these past 100,000 miles, vs. 31 mpg for our 2009 Honda Civic used for the other half of our annual miles. Our other vehicles are rarely used. The $25,500 purchase price Prius hybrid, including sales tax and registration, provides a 48 percent fuel mileage improvement over the $18,000 purchase price Civic, including sales tax and registration.
Not surprisingly, we have not purchased a second hybrid because a nonhybrid was less lifetime costly and equally durable and reliable. Since 1970, a car purchase depends on fuel economy, reliability and durability, and not low emissions.
Until a five-passenger electric vehicle reduces in cost to $30,000 with sales tax and registration, and with at least a 400-mile range, the EV lacks economic value.
JOSEPH J. NEFF, Indianapolis. The writer, who is retired, was chief engineer for Cummins and Peterbilt Motors and a vice president of transit bus builder Gillig Corp.