Cars & Vehicles Hybrid Vehicles

Hybrid Vehicles and the Real Price of Going Green

The phrases "Going Green" and "Green Energy" are everywhere in the media today.
You can't take a turn without someone wanting you to do "this or that" or some celebrity is begging you to lower your "carbon footprint".
What is the real price, and I mean the physical financial outlay for someone to go green? On the other hand, what is the environment cost if we don't? Hybrid vehicles and plug-in pure electrics are becoming very popular and every manufacturer is scrambling to get a piece of the market and secure an endorsement from some obscure green energy authoritative organization.
Personally, I think the concept of electric cars is something that just makes sense.
They have been in production in America and Germany since the early 1900's, they just lost favor.
Paying an extra $10K for an electric or hybrid version of your vehicle of choice probably does make sense financially for the (potential) tax credit and the long term fuel saving, but the cost of that vehicle to society may not be exactly what you anticipated.
Just because you are off hydrocarbons when you toodle loop to the corner to get a loaf of bread and some milk and eggs doesn't always mean you are using green energy.
In fact, the environmental impact (mile for mile) of your trip may rival that of an SUV, depending on your location.
I think this is soon to change but to date the cleanest, greenest and most reliable source of electricity is produced by nuclear power plants.
So, if you live in a major city that is a net exporter of nuclear produced electricity then the electric vehicle makes common sense both by price and cost.
If you live in a major city that is burning coal or fuel oil to produce electricity, your price per KWH will be higher making your electric vehicle less economical and about as environmentally costly as a well tuned SUV.
If you have taken the time to put the thought into this subject, and if you are considering making a dramatic departure from tradition in your personal transportation needs; either for the purpose of saving money or saving the environment then you should take the time to understand the environment you live in.
By going green you may be making an impact that will cancel out the effects of other drivers, or you may be making no impact at all.

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