Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Fuel Economy

Welcome to my newest blog. I decided to spin this off when I started wanting to post a bit about the auto industry but it didn't fit the charter of my more politically minded other blog...

This is the post that got me thinking I needed a second blog...enjoy.


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Let me start by saying this as clearly as I can...I am a car guy.

I eat, breathe, and live automobiles. Nothing brings me more joy than a well executed car - whether that be from a spirited drive down a curvy back-road, taking an inordinate amount of time to wash, polish, and otherwise obsess over every contour and finish, or even just dreaming of cars I'd love to drive and likely never will.

As a self-avowed automotive enthusiast, I fully understand the need for all types of vehicles, big and small, frugal and utilitarian. I don't villify the SUV just because I have no need for one (note, some of the links I list below don't necessarily take this stance) because I understand that many folks have legitimate need for them. I might curse, like most of us in cars, when my view is blocked by these large wagons - especially when a 7-seat monster is being driven to work by a single person - but I certainly won't say they should give up their vehicle if it brings them joy.

I don't hold hybrids, electrics, or fuel-cell cars on a pedestal as the end-all or certain fix for our environmental woes. I'm sure, by now we've all seen the reports that you would have to own a hybrid for 10 years or more, even with $3 a gallon gas, to recoup the extra cost... Of course, I think these articles miss the point. A truer measure would be to talk about not only the financial cost, but the environmental one as well. Using less gas has it's own benefit in reduced impact on the earth (assuming we can quantify the environmental impact of the extra technology that makes hybrids possible - batteries and the like).

I think the real lesson here is to think. Think about what you really need. Think about the costs to you, your community, and your fellow drivers for choosing a specific vehicle. Once you feel you really understand all sides...then buy what makes you happy.

I know I will.

Until next time...

Scott K (seriously eyeing the Saturn SKY as my next car)

Links
Bankrate.com - Is a hybrid car good for your wallet?
MotherEarthNews.com article on high efficiency vehicles
The Grinning Planet - The SUV Problem -- Hating Them is too Simplistic
About.com - Pro SUV - Reasons You Should Own a SUV

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