The automakers will make anything that the public wants to buy. Last
time I was at the dealership no one held a gun to my head and said
that I must buy a gas guzzling SUV. They make the SUV because that is
what people are buying. All these dealerships also offer smaller more
fuel efficient vehicles (except hummer and perhaps a couple others).
Small cars are more "cool" now than they ever were. Most of the kids
want a Honda that they can soup up today. Those that drive a SUV do
so because it was a hand me down from their parents much the way I got
stuck driving the old station wagon geek mobile back when I started
In my opinion the first thing that needs to happen is the insurance
policies need to be rewritten so that one person can own two vehicles
without paying almost full load on two vehicles when they can only
drive one at a time.
I would LOVE to buy a small super fuel efficient car to drive back and
forth the work and to do errands in. I HAVE to have a vehicle capable
of towing and able to seat six in reasonable comfort. If I buy a
second car I am looking at $150 a month for insurance plus a payment
on the vehicle itself. If the new vehicle saves me 1/3 on my now $300
a month gasoline bill I am still hundreds in the hole at the end of
the month. End result.. I'm driving a full size vehicle back and
forth to work every day wasting gas.
Last time you were at the dealership did you see any cars with gas
mileage in the 50s or 60s with sticker prices under $13K? I doubt it.
Maybe if they had them people would buy them. Especially or kids. It
could be done and is done in other countries.
Not a question of total dollars, but of perceived value. If the Prius was
equipped as a standard gasoline powered car, it would sell for about $15k or
$16k. For the same price as the Prius, I can buy a minimal model Buick
LeSabre and have lots more room and comfort.
Comes down to paying $22k for a $16k car just to be "green" and probably not
save a buck in the overall life of the car. Even at today's prices, there
is no payback for a long time. In 75,000 miles (assuming a 15 mpg gain)
you'd save 1125 gallons of gas, at 3.30 a gallon, only $3712. Not enough to
pay the difference in car cost.
And that is the reason that Detriot doesn't make cars that get 55-60
MPG. The technology required is very expensive. However, that will
change over time and as fuel costs get to $5+ per gallon, the pay back
economics will change.
Yes, but your normal car depreciates to maybe %60 of it's sale price withiin
a few years. A Prius may retain 90%. There's several thousands in savings
right there. People right now are selling used Prius for more than they
paid, and that was long before this hurricane hit.
So far the Prius is holding value very well. BUT.. that same Prius
is going to need a very expensive battery replacement in a few years
time. We are talking thousands of dollars.
I think the hybrids are a good idea and am glad to see them selling
well because those sales will encourage the auto companies to continue
to improve the technology and develop more technologies to save
energy. For my dollar though I would choose something like a VW
diesel that gets the same if not better gas mileage without all the
unknowns of future battery cost.
I don't think it will be anywhere near ten years. Most things I own
with rechargeable batteries show noticeable loss of power after three
years and have to be replaced by five years. I could be all wet on
this subject, just would not be willing to gamble my money on it.
That was my conclusion also ... until I tried to find a VW diesel this
weekend. I live in PA, right near the NY border. I found out that NY
doesn't allow diesel cars to be sold in the state (for emissions reasons
the dealer told me), but you can buy big honking 3/4 ton diesel pickups.
Only in NY ... well, and CA.
I then drove to the dealer in PA, and he just laughed when I asked about
availability of diesels. He politely said I'd have to take a number and
wait in a long line. The local Toyota dealer has Prius' on the lot.
From Bill Cooke Volkswagen in Ithaca, NY. NY has adopted the CARB
standards and I was told that the VW diesels can't meet these standards
Duh, that is what I did and wrote. Can't you read?
I searched around and found nothing I'd call "official", but did find
several references such as this that also suggest that VW TDI cars
aren't available in CARB states.
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