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Calling all clean cars.

Letter writers Kathleen Stroh and Lawrence Rhodes (Advice and Dissent, March/April 2005) are right on. Sometimes it seems like just a few of us are out there trying to bring Americans to their senses about hybrids, and auto travel in general.

Hybrids are just a stop-gap solution. They use plenty of gasoline and, for the most part, don't emphasize electric propulsion enough--though some can operate in electric-only mode for short periods. Two studies I know of suggest you would have to drive almost 150,000 miles before you'd make up the price difference between a similar non-hybrid.

The discontinued GM EV-1 electric car could go up to 200 miles on a charge with the latest nickel-metal-hydride batteries. Other zero-emission electrics like the Tango, chargeable by solar or wind, are out there if you look. The European Smart Car will be privately imported soon, and some will be converted to electric. Even in gas mode, it gets upward of 70 miles per gallon. Some 20 percent of our vehicle stock could use biodiesel fuel, which is much cleaner and more efficient than petroleum diesel.

Public transportation---especially in inner cities--should be encouraged, but Americans are not going to get out of their cars. Let's just make them smaller, safer and more energy efficient.

William L. Seavey

Author of Power Your Car WITHOUT

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Title Annotation:ADVICE & DISSENT: Letters from our readers
Author:Seavey, William L.
Article Type:Letter to the Editor
Date:Jul 1, 2005
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