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Ummm, no thanks. Not for "The Times." No longer relevant for me as a news source.

But I will say something about misleading MPG estimates. To say that plugging in a hybrid will give you 200 MPG, 500 MPG, or 1,000 MPG might be factually true if you never drive it long enough to have to burn any gas.

But it would be COMPLETELY AND ENTIRELY MISLEADING as a reference to how much total energy it uses. After all, you're plugging it in, right? So where's the electricity coming from? Probably coal, natgas, oil, or nuclear power. None of those are "free."

I wonder which is cheaper, a KWH of electricity generated by your car, or a KWH of electricity generated by your local power plant? Well, somebody will know the answer, for sure.

There's also another misleading standard that some groups are wanting to implement. 90-10 Ethanol/Gasoline vehicles. I have no idea how well such a vehicle might run, or how long it might last. But what concerns me is that they want to report fuel economy in terms of Miles Per Gallon of Gasoline. This completely ignores the 9-parts of Ethanol for each 1-part of gasoline.

And Ethanol isn't free, either. We still expend energy to farm the corn (or strawberries or cherries or whatever else we can "manufacture" Ethanol from). It also costs to distribute it. And we pay for that when we put it into our tanks.

Certainly, we will eventually need a new standard of measuring energy efficiency for travel. But in the meantime, beware, folks. There are people and groups out there willing to mislead us.
 
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