New York limo company opts for offsets instead of hybrids

Over the past couple of years many livery companies around have bought a variety of hybrid vehicles with which to shuttle their clients around. However, New York-based Valera Global has decided to take a pass and instead go the carbon offset route. They claim that after studying the purchase of hybrids for their fleet it just didn't make economic sense. Instead they have joined the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) and are offsetting their carbon emissions.

Many of Valera's arguments seem highly dubious. First of all there is the cost factor. Valera CEO Robert Mackasek claims the $7,000 replacement cost of batteries was a factor. Given the infrequency with which hybrids need battery replacement and the success that vehicles like the Ford Escape Hybrid have had when used as cabs in Manhattan without battery service, this one is a non-starter. Mackasek also argues that clients don't actually want to give up the comforts of larger vehicles for smaller hybrids. This may well be true for many clients, but there are undoubtedly those who feel otherwise and it seems unlikely that even some small number of hybrids wouldn't be put to extensive use. Then there is the reality that most carbon offset programs are of highly questionable value anyway. It really just sounds like a bunch of excuses.

[Source: Detroit News]

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