OK, I know that Hybrid Cars are the result on the Japanese automakers beating the American automakers to the punch. But, in America we have turned environmental friendliness into a social club.
So here’s the deal. Start with the same vehicle. One’s a hybrid version and one is not. The hybrid one costs about $3500 more. If gas were $5 a gallon and you drove 15,000 miles a year it would still take you 5 years to save enough money in gas to pay the difference in the two nearly identical vehicles. And that’s even before the $2,000 batteries in the hybrid eventually wear out and fail and specifically aren’t covered under the warranty. Bottom line, even at $5 a gallon gas a hybrid saves you about $750 a year in fuel costs before taking into account the battery. (Now, electric cars are a totally different story. Electric cars are awesome and silent and wonderful. If only anyone could afford them.)
But, the reason I think Hybrid Cars are something great about America is that Americans are willing to waste money to feel like they are contributing something towards saving the environment. Owning a Hybrid Car is like Al Gore buying carbon credits to offset his own monstrous use of energy. So, if you feel compelled to carry your groceries home in plastic bags, at least put them in the trunk of your Hybrid Car.
Even better, and here’s the tip of the day, stop by the local non-profit where physically challenged people make canvas tote bags and buy a couple dozen. Store them in the trunk of your Hybrid Car and use them over and over again to cart groceries around. Not only are they environmentally friendly and help local charities help people, but they don’t break and let all you fresh new goodies crash into the pavement.