It Takes a Biofriendly Heart to Go Hybrid
I groaned the other day. I'm not fond of groaning as I was not blessed with
the classic bass rumble that makes the great groaners famous, but I did make a
clear, and unfortunately audible, groan. It was the groan of a man at a gas pump
in Los Angeles, watching three dollar bills pour into a gas tank gallon by gallon until
the sight of it seeped a madness. An elusive, quiet insanity that grasped its way
from unknowingly clenched muscles, through an unprepared throat and out into the
world as what could only be described as a mix between a balloon squeezing out
air and a pigeon fart.
I left the quizzically disturbed patrons alone to figure out what they had
just heard, paid my $52.00 and made the decision to buy a car that uses less
gasoline. Once I made it home I dropped my pants, kissed my wife and went to the
computer. Many of you have stopped reading this article now as I threw in the
dropped pants portion of that day, what I forgot to add is that I did put on my
"I'm Home" pants, a completely different set of very comfortable pants with
booties. Anyway, I looked on the Internet for
hybrid vehicles and found three that interested me for different reasons. The
Toyota Prius (best price), the Toyota Camry (lots of space), and the Honda Accord
(best looking). It was while researching these cars and comparing them to their
non-hybrid versions that I realized that I was still completely screwed.
I consider myself to be a pretty biofriendly person. I recycle my aluminum, I
separate my yard waste from my normal waste, I even bought those toilets that
flush with less water, although by the time I've gotten the poop completely out
of the bowl I have probably flushed more water than any normal toilet would
have... but the point here is that I'm making an effort. I just realized that I
need to be more biofriendly than I currently am, if I am to buy one of these
I'll try to keep this simple and avoid over-describing the math I used (I'm
not great at math, so when I show what I have done, some jerk usually points out
a formula that I could have used that would have saved me hours.) A base model
Prius costs $22,000.00.
You can't find one for that price because I'm convinced that there is no such
thing as a base model, but I digress. According to ABC news the average price of
gasoline at this moment in this country is
$2.87 for the
cheap stuff. According to the US department of energy, the average driver drives
12,000 miles per year. I drive about 16,000 miles per year and the cheap
stuff where I live costs well over three dollars, so if that is the average
than there is probably some guy named Joe Bloggs in North Dakota who pays a buck
a gallon and drives six miles per year! Lucky bastard... where was I... Oh yeah,
so the Prius at best costs $22,000.00. The three closest Toyota's in style that
are not hybrids are the Corolla, the Matrix and the Yaris. These vehicles
The butt-kicker here is the actual savings in fuel, the Prius gets you an
average of 55 mpg the
Corolla 34, Matrix
31.5,, and Yaris
36.5. Now this sounds like
a lot, right? Allow me to exit my math paragraph and get to my answer paragraph
and I'll show you what this means to your wallet.
Here we are in the answer paragraph. Long and short of it, in order to make
up the price difference in cars with your potential gas savings, you would have
to own a Prius for seventeen years as opposed to a Corolla, 12 and a half years as
opposed to a Matrix, and almost 31 years as compared to a Yaris. I don't know
about everyone else in the world, but I will have definitely run my car to the
ground (or at least "parked" it into a career-ending tree) well before then. If
you are looking at a Camry, it will take you 15 years to make up the price
difference, and an Accord will take you a whopping 84 years, to match its
non-hybrid brother in price.
It was at this point that I researched the flip side to this whole equation.
The hours of action packed excitement you may have seen in Al Gore's
global warming movie appears to be
pretty close to dead on from what I can tell, and the three most effective
things we can do to help slow and/or stop the global warming trend are; use less
fuel, plant trees while ceasing to cut down trees, and most importantly, stop
volcanoes. Stopping volcanoes is the easy one, I mean we all must be doing that
pretty well every day because we almost never have volcanoes erupting. The tree thing...
well the best answer here is to stop eating so much fast food (this sounds
random but it is actually pretty accurate, deforestation occurs mostly to make
room for farms that ship meat to your local fast food locations. I'll go into
detail another day.) The final helping step is to use less fuel. You see, in the
process of burning gas to make your car run, oxygen is converted into carbon
dioxide, an over abundance of carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere, and
that heat warms the planet just enough to slowly melt ice until eventually we
are all underwater looking for a
Kevin Costner to save us from Pirates.
What I learned through this process was that financially, it may not be
the best idea to get a hybrid. But if you have a biofriendly heart, extra cash
and you want to produce less carbon dioxide, a good way to do so is to burn less
fuel and pass less gas. Some hybrids, like the Prius, are very good for that...
the fuel thing, not the gas thing, for the gas thing I recommend
gas-x. I am also lying to you, I found (surprisingly) that the human butt
has very little to do with the global warming problem. Some last minute advice
though, I learned that buying a hybrid at the beginning of the model year
(usually in September) is a good idea if you have an interest in getting one.
This is because the first 60,000 hybrid vehicle models sold get a government tax
break of $1,500.00 to $3,000.00 and that cuts into my time formula above by about
25%. But before buying check with your dealer to be sure that you will get the
tax break because our wacky government has been known to change its wacky rules.
Plus with Leonardo DiCaprio buying Priuses, 60,000 vehicles could be sold in a
Oh, and stop breathing if possible, that helps too.