Friday, January 07, 2005

Hybrid cars

According to today's Washington Post, hybrid cars have been multiplying and clogging up the carpool lanes.

Carpool lanes? Virginia decided that people with "clean fuel" cars could drive in the carpool lanes even if driving solo.

I was wondering why I was seeing so many of these cars in the area. The article suggests people have been buying them so they can drive in the carpool lanes. Virginia has been giving away a valuable benefit to people who buy an overpriced car.

Hybrid cars don't make any sense from an economic perspective. Gas isn't even close to being expensive enough to make up for the high price of a hybrid compared to an inexpensive fuel efficient regular car.

A hybrid car is just a yuppie luxury item and not a practical way to save gas.


Danny Taggart said...

Silly rabbit. Hybrid cars don't run on gas. They run entirely on their owners' sense of self-satisfaction.

Stacey said...

But, more seriously, wouldn't the proper Libertarian response include objecting to car pool lanes to begin with? Not that I'm promoting dogmatism, but consistency would be good...

Charles said...

Hybrid cars don't even measure up to their own overinflated gas mileage. Also read that firefighters and police are getting special training and warning about crashes involving those cars. Very high voltage and amps are run through a couple areas, so breaks there get you electrocuted, as would a jaws of life or power saw operator trying to extract you from a crumpled up little car. Last guidance I saw was to cut the top off the car and pull you out that way. Right now, hybrids are the new Yugos.

Ocean lover said...

It seems to be that the reward that VA is giving it's hybrid owners is far from benficial. Who are they trying to help here? A reward for saving yourself money at the gas pump??? Ok, now that you've saved your money, go clog up the lane that people who are sitting 2 and 3 to a car benefit from??? Hey, I'm all from a cleaner environment and getting out from under OPEC's strong arm, but come on. You try something like this in New York and you're going to have some serious road rage going on.

Libertarian Girl said...

Stacey, extreme libertarians might say that government shouldn't build any roads. But I don't want to go that far.

If you cede to government the power to build roads for the public good, then the issue of whether HOV lanes make sense is not a libertarian one.

Paul Snively said...

LG, good for you. I'm also tired of us Libertarians being held up to whack standards of absoluteness that are never applied to any other political philosophy, and don't even make sense within the context of Libertarianism. Of course there's also the issue of Libertarianism not being a voting bloc the way that, say, big labor was in the first half of the 20th century. I call that a good thing.

Jeremy said...

Heh, the vast majority of the libertarians I know are yuppies. So... what exactly are you saying? :-)

jakethehellcat said...

The liberal position seems contrary to liberals' stated advocacy for the poor. After all, who is it who is able to afford the extra $5,000 or $10,000 for the luxury of being environmentally pure? It isn't the single mom slaving away as an administrative assistant for $10 an hour who reaps the benefit of less drive time to and from work and more time with her kids.

"Crunching" the numbers shows it takes about 10 years to break even on the additional cost of the car from the savings on gasoline. Admittedly, it's a promising technology, which will start selling in volume when the economics justify it (say, when hybrid prices drop to those of standard internal combustion prices). Of course, one of the things that will drive the prices down is the economics of scale of a greater volume of sales ... to liberals with too much money. (So, you see, they really do have our best interests at heart. They throw away their money now so we can enjoy the technology at lower prices later.)

As to your comment re: "gas isn't even close to being expensive," you're absolutely right. Gasoline today (at say, between $1.80 - $2.00 per gallon) seems to be at an 85 year average, in constant dollars, according to data from the Department of Energy -- higher than over the past 18 years, but lower than 1975 - 1980; about the same as between 1950 - 1975; and lower than 1920 - 1950.

Jack W. Orf said...

You're way off on hybrid cars. If American automakers don't catch up to Japan, they're dead meat.

Toyota has a model now that gets 60 MPG, goes 0-60 in 10 seconds and sells for $20,000. The price will continue to come down as the market broadens and technology matures. The gas milage will continue to go up.

GM is finally starting to sweat and is now going bananas trying to get up to speed.

If Bozo Bush had any brains in his tiny little head, the US Govt would be funding research in this area. Then U.S. automakers would not have to play second fiddle to the Japs.

If you live in Washington, maybe you should mention that to those turkeys.

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The Green Baron said...

Interesting. Does that fact that your president is sending your countrymen to die in the middle east so that you can maintain your low gasoline prices mean nothing to you? What would you do if your price doubled or tripled and got closer to what the rest of the world pays? And of course it's quite fine to drive cars that spew out poisonous gasses and destroy the environment, you're not going to have to live in it later on. Pity about the next generations.

Of course carpooling in a conventional car may be better for the environment than four hybrid cars taking the same route, but what if you car pooled in a hybrid car?

It's comments like "Hybrid cars don't make any sense from an economic perspective. Gas isn't even close to being expensive enough to make up for the high price of a hybrid compared to an inexpensive fuel efficient regular car." that darken the rest of the world's view on the USA.