Hybrid Car Comes In Handy to Escape Rita

The Houston Chronicle has created a Rita blog to track hurricane stories. One of the posts is titled: "Why you want a hybrid" and can be read here. I'm sure most people have seen the unending lines of cars stuck in monstrous traffic jams, many of them running out of gas. Well, here's what Mike Matthews, a Houston Chronicle employee, sent via instant message: "FYI, Renee and I finally got to Palestine, TX at about 5:45 AM -- 30 hours after leaving our house in Clear Lake. The Prius still has about 1/4 tank of gas..." That's impressive, especially considering that the Prius has a 11.9 gallons (45 liters) fuel tank. The Prius' main advantages in this type of traffic is its ability to shut off the gasoline engine when the car isn't moving and to drive the car on electricity only at low speeds (the gas engine only turns on when the battery is getting low or fast acceleration is needed). Of course, a decent passenger rail system between cities and a better evacuation plan would have helped more people...

::Why you want a hybrid, thanks to R Tobon for the story.