Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thinking About a New Car

We currently have. one car,  a 2006 Honda Civic sedan. We bought it because the mileage rating was 32 city/40 highway. That was pretty much as good as it got at that time, except for  the Toyota Prius, which cost a lot more (at that time) and did not get that many more miles per gallon.

We've had our Civic for nine years. In that time, it has performed almost  flawlessly, and remains in very good condition. We could probably do very nicely with it for another ten years. There's just one problem. It uses gasoline.

We are now thinking about getting another car, one that reflects our commitment to ending our dependence on oil. The good news is there are many more options for electric cars, hybrids, and plug in hybrids than ever before. In the next few years, plug-in hybrids will emerge much more as an important clean energy alternative to the cars we are accustomed to filling up weekly with gasoline.

The good news is, the price of gasoline is dropping because the demand is dropping. A lot of the gas we use these days comes from Canadian tar sands and the Bakken shale fields in North Dakota. This kind of gasoline is costly to recover, so shrinking gas prices are making that kind of oil less profitable than the big energy companies would like.

To me, that is good news. If we citizens keep buying cars that use less, or in some cases, no gasoline, demand drops, the price at the pumps drops. Pretty soon, we could get a situation where the best thing to do with oil deposits is to leave them in the ground.  That's would be a very good place to be.

My wife and I would like to get a new car. We would like to have an SUV .  That means a bigger vehicle that costs more.  The perfect choice for us would be a plug in hybrid SUV,  that would run on electricity for about 85% of the driving we do.  Unfortunately, there are no SUV options like that at the moment, so we will stick with our 2006 Honda sedan until the right option comes into the marketplace.  I expect that to happen in the next year or two.

If I thought we could get by with the limited range of an electric car, we would have to look seriously at some of the sedan options that are out there now, including the BMWi3, the Honda FIT  EV, the Nissan Leaf,. I also like the Chevy Volt. If they made an SUV version of the Volt, I would buy it today.

I want to make a statement with my choice of a pollution free car. I want to be the example that encourages others to wean themselves from dirty energy.  

For sure, I will never buy another car that runs only on gasoline. That's my commitment. I urge everyone to do the same.  You want to do something about climate change, it can start with your personal decision when buying a car.

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