Blogger tgriffith must have taken too much lithium last night. He decided to bash hybrids in order to convince you that certain used cars are cheaper (of course they are), better on gas mileage (umm, not really), and to be preferred because hybrid batteries are “depleting the earth of precious minerals.”
Hybrids, he says, are “designed to line the pockets of the companies that build them.” While, of course, the other products of those companies are not.
We write a lot about used cars on the CarGurus blog, and the point of that is to alert you to their values and benefits. Used cars are in no way an alternative to hybrids; they are a different animal and serve different needs and purposes. You could just as well argue that a used Ford Fusion Hybrid (above) is a better buying proposition than a new Mercedes CLS.
Compared to other similar cars (new or used), hybrids are more expensive. So why buy one? You would be silly to buy one to save the planet. You would not be silly to buy one to reduce emissions and help advance the technology for reducing our oil dependence.
The big auto companies are investing heavily in hybrids and electrics, because the handwriting is clearly on the wall. Government incentives help defray the high costs, but will not last forever. Costs will drop as technology and production practice improve. Some of us remember how expensive our first computers were.
The argument that lithium is a precious resource is just not supported. There are large reserves in Bolivia (as we wrote about), Chile, China, Mexico, and elsewhere. Yes, there will be problems—political and otherwise—as always happens in mining. Transforming an entire industry like autos does not come without problems or costs. And other kinds of batteries are in the works.
Today on Autoblog Green, a writer made the obvious point that it’s much, much cheaper to keep your current vehicle (or buy used) than to shell out close to $30,000, the average price of a new car.
Of course, a 7-10 year old car is unlikely to be as efficient as a new car, especially one with a hybrid or electric powertrain. It certainly won’t have technologies like electric power steering, brake energy regeneration or automatic start-stop. An older car really makes the most sense for those people that don’t drive much and the energy to produce it has already been expended. [sic]
How do you come down on the benefits of driving a hybrid? Would a hybrid be worth the extra cost to you?