Hype About Hybrids

In the past few months the media has been talking allot about the benefits of hybrid cars due to the obscene gas prices. Even the government is giving you some sort of tax break for owning a hybrid vehicle”Heck, here in California, if you own a hybrid, you get a special sticker that allows you to drive in the carpool/diamond lane without any passengers.

Correct me if I’m wrong but don’t hybrids still use gasoline? For example the Toyota Prius, it runs on an internal combustion engine. But it also uses some fancy electric motor when you’re cruising at low speeds, you know like when you’re pulling out of the drive way, slowing down at the stop light, or finding a parking spot at the mall.


So as great as those cars are, it just doesn’t make sense to me why the media is so in love with the idea of hybrids especially when the best way to save on gas prices is right between your legs”.a bicycle.


If anything the government needs to give bicycle commuters some sort of tax break for riding their bike. That money could be used for maintenance or for purchase of a new bicycle.

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15 thoughts on “Hype About Hybrids”

  1. Nick says:

    I know – I was thrilled when hybrids first came onto the market, but now I’m sick of this “they’re good for the planet!” attitude. They’re not. They’re better than your old car, yes, but they’re still spewing the same fumes as every other car on the road, albeit at a slightly lower rate. You may have switched to Newport Lights, but you’re still smoking.

  2. RL Policar says:

    Haha…I like that comparison to Newport Lights. People are pretty decieved about this whole hybrid thing. Now Toyota has some new vehicle much like the old Echo, I can’t recall the name. But the car gets about 40mpg for and the sticker price is about $12K…um that’s about $10K less than a hybrid for the same gas mileage…
    I suppose if you are in need of a car but are concerned about the environment and gas prices, this might suite your needs more.

  3. Ebee says:

    this is the car to get all up in arms about:


    150 mpg??

  4. Moe says:

    In August of 2003 there was a ‘Commuter Act Bill’ introduced to the U.S. Senate. It looks like that it didn’t get anywhere. As I have posted before, it’s up to commuters to get their employers involved. I was succesful to convince my employer to give a $50 monthly incentive to whoever rides a bike to work for a at least 8 days. There are a lot of resources on the net about how to go about convincing your employer to give bike commuters a break. However, I was disappointed that even though my company was giving bike commuters an incentive, ridership didn’t increase.

  5. Nick says:

    RL, I think you’re thinking of the Toyota Yaris, which, judging from the ads, is being marketed to a younger crowd, as is the Honda Fit. I like the small car movement – if makes me feel like we’re finally catching up to Europe, where families own one small car and use it when necessary. I hope there’s some truth to the marketing angle, and that my generation of current mid-20s will stick with the small cars as we breed. I’d like that much better than the current child-rearing generation, with their grossly inaccurate philosophy that the only way the way to keep their babies safe is in a three-ton glass and steel behemoth.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Keeping your kids safe is always a must. I could see why parents would prefer to keep their kids in an SUV rather than a compact car. There are both advantage and disadvantage on having that SUV. You definitely have more room to carry things in an SUV. But the turn around is the killer gas mileage. As for safety sake, in the event of an accident, would you rather be in a tank or a box car? Self explanatory. Having a “Hybrid” doesn’t really save you any cash. Sure it uses less gas but the price of the vehicle is a lot higher. Your monthly car payment would outweigh the money supposedly saved on gas.

  7. Moe says:

    My wife went from a Ford Expedition to a PT Cruiser. She believed that my kids were safer on the SUV due to it’s size. The PT Cruiser comes with Front and Side airbags and a rating of ‘Excellent’ on Rear Side impacts (where my girls would be). It took time for my wife to get used to being ‘small’, but now she loves her PT Cruiser. We now have a lower car payment and double the MPG.

  8. Nick says:

    Anonymous: I suggest you read this. There is a difference between feeling safe and being safe, and while an SUV or truck may win in a head-on collision with a small car, what do you think all that weight is doing if you hit a telephone pole or wall? It’s going to crush you and your children from behind.

    Anyway, you’re at the wrong forum to argue the safety of SUVs – you’re talking to a group of people who ride bicycles to work. Clearly, we must be insane and suicidal, since we would be so much safer in an H2, or, hell, why not an M113 APC? That’ll really keep those kids safe. Back me up on this one, Randy!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Sure Nick, Hit a telephone pole or a wall an SUV might cause more damage. But when have you ever seen a telephone pole jump in the middle of the road? Unless you lose complete control or drunk, you have got to be an idiot to hit a pole or a wall while driving!

    Make/Model Type Driver Other Total
    Deaths Deaths

    Subaru Legacy/Outback Compact 74 24 98
    Mazda 626 Compact 70 29 99
    Chevrolet Suburban S.U.V. 46 59 105
    Jeep Grand Cherokee S.U.V. 61 44 106

    “The numbers are expressed in fatalities per million cars, both for drivers of particular models and for the drivers of the cars they hit.”
    Notice that the statistics that “YOU” suggested I read pointed out that the number of driver deaths in a compact car is higher than an SUV.

  10. Nick says:

    Well, that’s one way to selectively interpret the data. It’s worth noting that there are large and small cars on both ends of the spectrum; the list is intended to show that car safety has more to do with construction of the car than with its size, not that large or small cars are safer across the board. The Mini Cooper (well built) and the F150 (poorly built) are extreme examples intended to dispel the myth that size alone equals safety.

    My personal preference in a car is smaller and lighter, and therefore more maneuverable and responsive. To quote the aforementioned article’s closing paragraph:

    In a head-on crash, an Explorer or a Suburban would crush a Jetta or a Camry. But, clearly, the drivers of Camrys and Jettas are finding a way to avoid head-on crashes with Explorers and Suburbans. The benefits of being nimble–of being in an automobile that’s capable of staying out of trouble–are in many cases greater than the benefits of being big.

  11. RL Policar says:

    C’mon girls…stop the hair pulling…hehe

  12. Randy says:

    An APC, That’s a good one Nick. An APC or Armored Personnel Carrier for you civilians out there would definately crush any SUV out on the road. But one draw back… no DVD players. Gotta pimp my ride.

  13. Nick says:

    I’d also like to mention that I probably spent a total of 30 minutes staring at that animated combustion engine graphic. Seriously, it’s hypnotic.

  14. Travis says:

    But the APC has 120 VAC.. if i remember correctly. so i could use my hair dryer and bread maker, coffee maker, and easy bake oven. If we are all worried about gas milage just get a old GEO, or a Yugo.


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