Six days for $4? I don’t think so!

Tyler Hamilton wrote an interesting article in the Toronto Star called, “$3.83 to power hybrid plug-in for 6 days.” The article describes his use of a ‘plug-in hybrid’ for six days. The title is certainly caught my attention, but the article itself seemed to be missing something. A second reading spawned a letter to the author:

From: “Rick Pali” <rpali@alienshore.com>
To: “Tyler Hamilton” <thamilt@thestar.ca>
Subject: Clean break road test
Date: Mon, 09 Jun 2008 12:14:06 -0400

Mr. Hamilton,

I read your clean break article “$3.83 to power hybrid plug-in for 6 days” with great interest. Then I read it again because something didn’t seem right.

The title made me believe you drove for 6 days and spent less than $4, but reading the text made it clear that this was only the cost of the electricity, and the car did indeed use gasoline, as the various litre/100km figures indicate.

What I’m curious about is to total distance you drove over those 6 days. Also, we know the amount and cost of the electricity used, but a complete picture should also include the amount and cost of gasoline used. Do you have these figures?

The article title is only to-the-letter accurate if you read ‘power’ as ‘electricity’ but power is a measure of work done so the ‘power’ picture is incomplete without a tally of the gasoline consumed. The article is downright misleading without it. Without the total distance, the amount of gasoline and electricity used, and the cost of each, we can only guess how efficient the vehicle really is. The author’s impressions are interesting but the story is incomplete without more facts.


Hat tip to Alan.

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