Friday, February 09, 2007

Hybrid Conservative

I took delivery of my 2007 Toyota Prius Hybrid this week -- the results of about two years of research/procrastinating.

"But Jblog," you say with astonishment, "Only quiche-eaters, treehuggers, dirt-worshippers and earthmuffins drive hybrids."

Not so, however -- it's actually the PERFECT car for a registered Republican like me. Lemme tell you why:

-- Tax breaks -- The purchase qualifies for a $1,500 federal income tax credit -- that's a credit, not a deduction, so it comes right off the bottom line. (But hurry -- the credit drops to $750 after March 31 and expires later this year. That's why I went for mine now.) Plus in Connecticut you don't have to pay sales tax on new hybrids -- that shaves another $1,500 off the top of the price.

-- Fiscal fitness -- In addition to $3Gs in tax breaks, I qualified for 24 months of 0 percent financing. I estimate that will save me another $2,000 or so over the life of the loan. And I estimate I will save another $1,000 in fuel costs each year. That's $7,000 in savings over the first two years, which well offsets the premium price for purchasing this new technology.

-- Good for America -- I'm currently averaging about 45 mpg, which is about twice what my old car got. America finds itself in direct competition with emerging markets in China and India for the global oil supply, which will push oil prices up over the next decade. Cutting my fuel consumption by half helps take the pressure off. It also means less money in the pockets of terrorists who profit from the oil trade, like Osama Bin Ladin and Hugo Chavez.

-- Rational environmentalism -- Contrary to popular misconception, most conservatives DO care about the environment. We'd just prefer not crater the economy while saving the earth. Adoption of new technologies like hybrid cars is a sane approach to this issue.

-- Intelligent design -- This is an exceptionally well-designed vehicle, inside and out. -- from the gasoline engine/electric motor power plant to the head-up display and touchscreen controls. Purchasing cars like this encourages all the automakers to strive for this kind of innovation and user-centered design.

-- Moral high ground -- "No blood for oil" my ass. How exactly did those hippies get to the antiwar rally, anyway? Next time I'm at the Dairy and Energy Mart giving my hybrid a sip and I see one of those freaks filling up his gas guzzler (with his antiwar, anti-oil bumpersticker proudly displayed), I believe I pretty much have the absolute moral authority to grab the tire iron out the hatch, walk over and bust his windshield.


SB said...

JBlog, it is good to see that you're getting in touch with your inner treehugger! Seriously though, other than the windshield-bashing part, this is fantastic.

JBlog said...

Are you kidding, SB? The windshield thing is my very favorite part of this.

Seriously, within the next 10 years we are going to be locked in an economic fight with the Chinese over the global oil supply -- they're sucking it like it's a bodily function. Better start planning ahead now.

And contrary to popular misonception, most Republicans and Conservatives do care about the environment -- they'd just prefer not to crater the economy in the process of saving it. I don't know about you, but the idea of reverting to a sticks-and-stones agragian society doesn't especially appeal to me.

Thanks for dropping by.

SB said...

We both know a Conservative named Fred who has loved the environment for many decades. He's no fan of bending over for big business either, though, so I suppose he's a "Teddy Roosevelt Republican". One of the ways I've felt betrayed by the GOP is its readiness to sacrifice the ecosphere at the altar of blue-chippers.

John Simonds said...

sorry jblog:

JBlog said...

No offense John, but whoever wrote that is a bonehead.

Even at 45 mpg (which is what I'm logging) I'm getting twice the mileage of my old car.

Compared to an Aveo? Please -- I've seen tricycles better engineering than that.

EPA on that tin can is 37 highway, 27 city -- that means real mileage might be somewhere around 33-34 mpg. I don't know about you, but for me 10 mpg is significant.

As to the "environmental impact" of the materials for the hybrid, I'd suggest that a true analysis of the origin of all the components that go into a hybrid and those for a conventional vehicle would be a net wash.

I know you're a car enthusiast and a knowledgeable one, as well as someone who appreciates superior technology -- I'd suggest you take one of these for a spin. I think you'll be impressed.