Monday, April 17, 2006

Life in the Green Lane - New York Times

If you're considering purchasing a hybrid vehicle, be sure to check out the NY Times article, Hybrid Cars Not Always More Fuel Efficient.

Also, I've heard, but not confirmed, that the battery packs that hybrids use cost in upwards of $7,000 and last about 5-7 years. Consider this as a possibility and just imagine what it would do to your trade-in value.

And before somebody accuses me of being anti-environment or whatever, let me explain that I'm all for protecting the environment and do whatever I can to save/conserve energy and resources. That said, it is my opinion that hybrids vehicles are like a disease. Assuming for the moment that hybrids car owners use their car in a fuel efficient manner (see link above), oil consumption will decrease. Sounds great, at first. But consider, for a moment, what this will do to large oil companies that relied on regular income. Think oil prices will remain the same? Think again. To make up for the lost margin, oil companies will be forced to increase the cost of fuel to make up for the difference. In turn, truckers suffer the most, which results in raised shipping cost for good and supplies. And it doesn't end there. If the shipping companies have to raise their prices, so do the large retail stores and every other company in the world to again make up the difference. It's a disastrous chain reaction that could lead to the worst inflation this country has ever seen.

There are alternative fuel sources that are both clean and renewable (somewhat unlike oil that takes millions of years to form). Don't allow automotive manufacturers to put a bandaid on the current design by buying hybrids --especially if your driving habits don't make for efficient use of a hybrid.

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