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Old 06-13-2012, 08:49 AM   #1
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Hybrid tree hugger rant...

So I have these good friends. Tree hugger types, but still good folks in spite of their far-left political leanings. They show up at my sticks and bricks last night to chill the swill, and grill the kill. We have a few beers (guys) and Peach Daqueri's (gals).

They are driving their new Camry hybrid, which they are eager to talk about.

They proceed to tell me how good for the environment it is, and how much money they are saving on fuel, and what not.

So, after a few beers, I proceed to pithily opine:

1) They will never recoup the premium they paid for the technology in fuel savings, so actually, they are loosing money every month. And by the time they finally do break even, it'll be time to replace the $$$$ batteries.

2) The environmental impact associated with the manufacture and disposal of said batteries is far worse for the environment than the emissions of a standard Camry would be.

3) So if those were the reasons they bought their hybrid, they got suckered by marketing hooey and salesman slickery.

All this kinda put a damper on the festivities. Music stops, and there is a minute of uncomfortable silence with everyone staring at me.

So, in order to try to preserve our friendship, and set the mood back in a positive direction, I tried to come up with some good reasons to buy a hybrid. And there were a few I could think of:

1) If you LIKE the way it looks, drives, and the amenities it offers, you made a good purchase. Theirs was very nice, I have to admit.

2) If you gain brownie points amongst your like-minded peers, this may be a reasonable purchase for you. I, obviously, don't care what people think about me and the environmental impact of what I drive. They, on the other hand, may benefit somehow amongst their peers.

3) If you want to help wean the country off of imported oil, this is a great reason to buy a hybrid. Probably the BEST reason.

Friendships salvaged, and music playing again, the conversation then went into fighting wars for oil, and how for the dollars spent on those wars, the government could have just bought us all hybrids making wars for oil unnecessary, so the world can finally live in peace and harmony...

There... problem solved.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:08 AM   #2
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Ahh, your discussions sounds like the ones I get when my two older kids get together. My daughter, who works for the federal government, drives a Prius and thinks we all should be driving a Prius. (I don't get points here because until recently I always drove pick ups for no particular reason other than I like pick ups.) My son, on the other hand, is a deep water petroleum engineer. So I have one child who is slightly to the left of Karl Marx and one who is slightly to the right of Attila the Hun. Political discussions get extremely interesting when they get together.

Your friends with their hybrid are similar to the push for ethanol in cars. It takes more energy to make and distribute the ethanol than it saves. The next big push coming will be natural gas. With the abundance of natural gas in the US and Canada, that may be a winner in the energy and environmental battles.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:12 AM   #3
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Ramblin been there done that. You did a good job keeping things cival unlike many others. JR
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:17 AM   #4
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Ever notice how most people drive their Prius (and probably other Hybrids but the Prius is the only one that's really noticable)? They usually are passing everything on the road except for Shelbys and Porsches.
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Old 06-13-2012, 09:21 AM   #5
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Ramblin been there done that. You did a good job keeping things cival unlike many others. JR
They are very good friends, and have been for many years. We can have these discussions civilly, and I believe we both benefit and grow from the experience.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:10 AM   #6
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Besides my gas guzzling RV DW drives a Prius and I drive a Hybrid Camry.

I do take issue about battery disposal because they are recyclable. That being said...

I think you are partially correct on whether someone will recoup the costs, especially for the Camry. It depends a lot on the type of driving done.

Regardless...

I recall a few years ago when I got my first Camry Hybrid walking into a Lowes when a soldier in battle dress fatigues was walking out. I just remember my "AHHA" moment. I thought to myself that if my car contributed in ANY measure to avoiding sending our military to defend oil rich countries then it had a HUGE intrinsic value to ME. Damn the cost.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:13 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Vegasdan
Ever notice how most people drive their Prius (and probably other Hybrids but the Prius is the only one that's really noticable)? They usually are passing everything on the road except for Shelbys and Porsches.
I generally travel at the limit on I81 and if there is a Prius it is generally passing me.
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Old 06-13-2012, 10:13 AM   #8
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Ever notice how most people drive their Prius (and probably other Hybrids but the Prius is the only one that's really noticable)? They usually are passing everything on the road except for Shelbys and Porsches.

MH always get passed! LOL

All things being equal (calm wind...) we get 50 MPG in the Prius when passing you at 70 MPH. REALLY we do...got the records to prove it. In my Camry Hybrid I'm getting 34-35.

Also, unlike Shelbys and Porches (and a few other "fast looking" cars), we don't seem to attract as much attention from the radar guns.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:39 AM   #9
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...I do take issue about battery disposal because they are recyclable...
As long as you don't believe there is no negative environmental impact associated with the recycling process, we can agree. Recycling is probably "less bad" than just burying them in a landfill, but certainly still has an environmental cost.

I fully agree with you in that consuming less fuel overall is good for the country. To my thinking, this is the only significant redeeming factor for hybrids.

Everything else is a wash. Money savings in daily fuel is paid up front for the technology. Essentially, you take money from the gas station owner and give it to the car dealer. For you, it's a wash.

Environmental benefits in YOUR town is at the cost of impacting someone elses town from nickel mining. Another wash.

My point to my friend was, from my perspective, it makes no financial or environmental sense to buy a hybrid over a similar vehicle with a 4cyl engine. From a patriotic point of view, it may be a different story.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:50 AM   #10
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We can have these discussions civilly, and I believe we both benefit and grow from the experience.
Ahhh... if we could only do that here on the forum.

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Old 06-13-2012, 12:10 PM   #11
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...and my 1996 Cadillac Eldorado with the Northstar engine (with over 100,000 miles) gets 27 mpg. It is all in the technology, isn't it?

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Old 06-13-2012, 12:13 PM   #12
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Environmental benefits in YOUR town is at the cost of impacting someone elses town from nickel mining. Another wash.
Ditto electrics and plug-in hybrids. Since 42% of U.S. electrical power is generated by coal (SOURCE), electric cars are NOT zero-emission vehicles. They are remote-emission vehicles - they just move the pollution to a remote source where the electricity is generated.



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Old 06-13-2012, 12:14 PM   #13
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The next big push coming will be natural gas. With the abundance of natural gas in the US and Canada, that may be a winner in the energy and environmental battles.
And just what's going to happen when natural gas catches on?

You got it. Just like the cash cow they found in diesel, they will jack up the price of the abundant natural gas.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:15 PM   #14
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Ramblin , I already like you , can I be a friend
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