Electric Trucks Coming From Fedex

Efficient Vehicles Where It Counts Most

Efficient Vehicles Where It Counts Most

Moneybox
A blog about business and economics.
April 9 2012 8:27 AM

Efficient Vehicles Where It Counts Most

A Toyota Prius hybrid taxi drives across Market Street on in San Francisco
A Toyota Prius hybrid taxi drives across Market Street on in San Francisco

Photograph by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

I was across the Potomac in Arlington County yesterday, where, to my mild surprise, I saw a Toyota Prius in use as a taxi. At first it struck me as strange, but it reminded me of Federal Express' experiments with electric vehicles. There was a story in the Times last week arguing that it takes years for the fuel savings of efficient vehicles to pay off when you consider the up-front costs of hybrid or electric engines, but the extent to which that's the case is obviously a function of how much you drive. Cabs and delivery vehicles log many many many more miles per day than a typical car, so they are in many ways the most compelling use case for this kind of technology.