Thursday, August 6, 2009

They Can Be Taught!

I've been reading up on some of the numbers emerging from the American "Cash For Clunkers" program and I have to admit I find much of it encouraging. It's great to see that many are taking advantage of the governments money to make responsible choices.

The program, for those outside the United States, encourages people to trade in their older, less fuel efficient vehicles for newer, cleaner ones by offering a pretty generous incentive... up to $4500 (US). To get your full share of the $4500 from the government the new vehicle purchased to replace the old one has to get at least 10 mpg fuel efficiency. A lesser improvement will get less incentive cash.

This article on is particularly interesting. While over 80 percent of vehicles traded-in were light trucks (SUVs, pickups and vans), 59 percent of the new vehicles purchased were passenger cars, thus proving something I've said for ages.... many people who drive SUVs don't actually need them. They're poseurs.

Also, of the top 5 cars purchased, only one hybrid (the Prius) is among the top 5, and it's outside the top three. People making responsible choices are still buying gasoline powered cars.

In any case, thus far the Cash For Clunkers program has seen an increase of over 35% in fuel economy when the new cars are compared to the older cars traded in. No matter how you look at it, that's a good thing!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Edmunds: Prius Will Take 26.2 Years of Driving to Recover Cost Premium just published an article so good I would almost think they had my little blog in mind when they penned it.

It turns out that what I've been saying all along is true: Diesels pay off quicker than hybrids!

The article mentions the fact that with gasoline and diesel prices being about the same in the US, the hybrids are feeling the hurt. Since around here I've noticed that diesel is $0.10-0.11/L (US$0.30-0.35/Gal) cheaper than gas, the disparity would be even greater, favoring the diesel even more.