Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Where is my PHEV Plug-in Electric Hybrid?

It has been six months since I last blogged about buying a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Nothing available yet on the market, as far as I can tell. I have decided to continue driving my gas sucking Mountaineer for now.

Why keep driving the Mountaineer (13 mpg) instead of chuck it for a new hybrid? Well, here's my thinking:
1. There was a tremendous amount of energy used to produce my car, and to produce a hybrid. At this point, so much damage has been done, I think the poor mileage is the least of the problem.
2. Demand for hybrids is going up with the price of gas. This is a good thing. I feel no immediate imperative to increase the market for a hybrid at this exact moment. It feels as though it has momentum.
3. The car that I want, a PHEV, is not on the market. I don't want to reward the auto manufacturers by buying a vehicle that is not what I want. When a PHEV comes on the market, I will be first in line to demand it. By that time, the useful life of my Mountaineer should be about over.
4. I think its a good idea to drive cars into the ground. I think its a poor example to trade a virtually new car for a slightly newer car. Its poor financial stewardship, and poor environmental stewardship, since it rewards auto producers by driving production of new cars while flooding the secondary market unnecessarily, thereby reducing the value of autos in the resale market.
5. Did I say that the car I want is a PHEV? Why buy a new hybrid, and then buy another one in a few years.

I'm ashamed I bought my Mountaineer in 2005. It was more car than I needed, and I knew about the lousy mileage. Honestly, $4 a gallon is not that big a deal for me. I can afford to drive it all the way up to $10 a gallon. But what I can afford is not the point; it's what I'm willing to do. The auto makers are way behind what I am willing to do for the environment, and I simply will not buy another new car that reflects Detroit's values more than my own.

I want a PHEV, or EV, and that is what my next vehicle is going to be.

Take notice, Detroit: I will not buy another car from you until you sell me what I want: PHEV!

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