Automakers in every country are in a race… who will design the best electric and hybrid cars? Two strong contestants right now are the 2017 Toyota Prius Prime which gets 133MPGe and 640 miles range, and the 2017 Chevy Volt which gets 106MPGe and 420 miles range.
Unlike pure electric cars, for plug-in hybrids like these two, range-anxiety is a thing of the past, while saving owners over $20,000 in gasoline costs over the life of the car versus an ordinary gasoline car with roughly the same body weight getting 28MPG.
Think about that…
Add in the $7,500 Federal tax credit (and another $1,500 from my state of California and another $500 from our local power company), and you can say: Yes, this isn’t just a climate change solution, it’s damn economical as well!
Since one only buys a car once every few years, it pays to optimize your decision as both a global warming solution, as well as cash, cash, cash: Ultra-high MPG is like finding hundred-dollar bills every dang week laying around on the sidewalk. Many plug-in hybrid owners (whose main driving is round-town so they rarely get off the battery pack) report going to the gas station only once or twice A YEAR.
My family has visited auto dealers the last few weekends, shopping for that once-every-fifteen-or-twenty year car to replace the old mid-90s Subaru Outback. Though Chevy’s all-electric Bolt just one-upped Tesla’s Model 3 by getting there first with over 200 miles range in a reasonably priced car, there is still that range anxiety thing for any all-electric.
Many couples deal with it by simply by buying one pure electric car, while keeping one old gasoline car around for long trips, and they automatically cut their fuel cost and automobile carbon footprint by half.
But for single folks who need one versatile car that can sip gas, use electricity to give awesome MPG, AND make long trips, I think plug-in hybrids make a lot of sense.
(Full disclosure, for me the Toyota plug-in hybrid got the nod over the Chevy Volt for several reasons: It has a more solid feel than the Volt; I trust the ridiculously legendary Toyota quality; and the Prius engine uses gas very lightly at 54MPG when in full-gasoline mode after using up the battery, while the Volt only gets 42MPG in full-gasoline mode. The fact that the Prius engine uses such little gasoline also explains why the Prius Prime goes 640 miles range while the Volt only goes 420.)
Check out some recent stories from other sources Autotrader, Car and Driver and CleanTechnica? By all means, take it slow and do your research… still, ain’t it good to live in a time when so many people are putting forward exciting new ideas?
(Note: Confused by the difference between MPG and MPGe? Please don’t be… “MPG” is simply ordinary gasoline miles per gallon for an ordinary gasoline car. Since hybrids and electrics also get energy from electricity, “MPGe” had to be invented: All it is, is a composite statistic of electric miles and gasoline miles, since it was easier to speak the gasoline-language that everyone already knows… they just convert the electrical energy into what you’d get if you were hypothetically using gasoline energy only. It keeps things simple. A side benefit is a bit of salesmanship, but truthful salesmanship: MPGe clearly and truthfully points out one big-deal fact: Electricity is WAY CHEAPER to go the same distance for the same relative amount of energy, about a fifth the cost of gasoline per mile. Why? Because gasoline is actually much less efficient than electricity, as it produces unnecessary side-products like a bunch of heat, half-burned gasoline going out the tail-pipe, that sort of thing… Meanwhile, much more of the energy you buy as electricity gets translated directly to the wheels and moving you. It isn’t just that electricity is cheaper, its also vastly more efficient for moving a four-wheeled vehicle! Clear as mud?)
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Not sure where to start saving the planet (civilization, really)? Start by deeply knowing your own personal Superpowers:
3) Use Your Voice and take advocacy seriously! Never miss a chance to vote, and never stop influencing your government and businesses locally, at the state level, and at the national level. Lead the way with global warming solutions.
And in all cases and at all times, cast aside the learned-helplessness that infects so much of modern life… the time is now for climate change solutions.
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