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HYBRID VEHICLES ARE INDEED VIABLE SOLUTION TO ENERGY CRISIS

In the April 17 Q&A column, the vice president of NOCO was asked, "Are hybrid vehicles a viable, long-term approach to the energy crisis?" He replied, "It seems that reliability and the cost to manufacture hybrid vehicles is prohibitive." As the owner of a 2005 Toyota hybrid mid-sized sedan, I disagree. The price was $20,300 and the warranty is for 100,000 miles or seven years on the hybrid power system.

I average 44 mpg. I drove my trade-in, a 2003 Camry, 15,000 miles. It averaged 22 mpg. With the cost of gas at $2.30 per gallon, that figures to $1,570 per year. The hybrid's gas will cost $785 for the same mileage.

If reliability and the cost of manufacture are prohibitive, then why has Honda marketed a hybrid and why are the Big Three starting development?

The suggestion that the use of alternative fuel and drilling is a more viable alternative is faulty and environmentally unsound. Increasing vehicle mileage and cutting fuel consumption (and, incidentally, air pollution) is more reasonable.

John Witmer

Alden