Like many people, I know that driving is a health risk as well as bad for the environment. I prefer to walk, bike, and take public transportation. Unfortunately, public transportation in the Boston area has some major gaps, and the time has come to buy a car.
My initial impulse was to buy a new car, perhaps a hybrid to “help the environment.” But I know little about hybrids, so I reached out to an intelligent friend, who wrote,
“If you’re commuting several hours a day in heavy traffic, buying a hybrid car might make sense. But for most consumers, I think hybrid technology is a questionable use of money. It gives a modest boost in gas efficiency in exchange for a large additional cost for the car (~$25k for a new Prius vs ~$15k for a new Yaris, for example). And you will have to replace the battery at some point, and I think the manufacture of those batteries is pretty environmentally destructive. In my opinion, the Prius has sold well less because of its objective environmental benefits than because it allows they buyer to lessen their guilt about driving and fossil fuel consumption, while at the same time “perform environmentalism” in a very visible way.
If your goal is to actually protect the environment or cut carbon emissions, I would opt for a gas-efficient conventional car and use the money you save to support solar energy or other initiatives that have proven to be cost-effective. Or buy an electric car, if you live in a place where the electricity mix is substantially non-fossil.”
So that’s where I am. I’d like to buy a used car and drive it as little as possible. Do you have a used vehicle to sell to me?
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