Last summer we were driving up north, in our Prius, and one of those coal rollers tailgated us for a while, then passed us. On the right. On the median. Jerk.
When we were trying to decide whether or not to buy a Prius, last winter, I looked into the usual things one looks into. I learned from the internet and various people that we’d never recover the extra cost of buying a Prius, because they were so expensive. So I got a little information together and called a dealer.
“I’m thinking of buying either a Subaru Forester to replace our old and beat up Forester, or a Prius. But I’ve been told we won’t recover the costs with the mileage savings,etc., so I thought I’d give you a chance to convince me that is wrong.”
“A Subaru Forester costs a few thousand dollars more than a Prius, so by buying a cheaper car, you will recover the costs on day one. Then, you’ll use half the gas forever. So yes, come on in!”
I double checked and he was right. Plus, there are additional advantages to driving a Prius. Like the coal rollers. We can be amused by coal rollers.
Anyway, there is a new study out and a great blog post about that study. The blog post is so good I won’t bother spending much time on this other than to point you to it (below). But first I wanted to show you this graph I made, based on the data provided in that study:
I think someone should make an all electric car (plugin) with a small biodiesel generator. And a solar pane on the roof that runs a small ventilation system for when you are parked in the sun. I want that to be my next car. Made in America by union workers would be nice.
Prize: The winner’s choice of an American-made electric car or hybrid car off of an approved list.
The cars would be provided at discount from them manufacturer. The manufacturer benefits from the publicity (free-ish advertising) and from having more of their cars on the road in communities where they might otherwise be very rare.
This would act like a Rotating Savings and Credit Association (ROSCA). A ROSCA is a way that a group of people can obtain a costly item with little available cash and low or zero interest loan. Every member of the ROSCA puts a set amount of money into the fund on a periodic basis, and one at a time each ROSCA member gets access to the entire pool, usually in random order.
The lottery would be run as a government project attached to an existing agency that covers the cost of operation so that all of the money acquired through lottery ticket sales goes into the car purchase. The ticket purchasers benefit from the excitement of a lottery produced by the thrill of possibly winning, and occasionally, by actually winning a new car.
The most expensive car out there that fits the criteria for inclusion on the approved list is probably a Tesla, but not everyone will want a Tesla; some people will want a much less expensive hybrid because the hybrid will not be tethered to charging between uses. So, each winner gets to chose the car they prefer, and if less expensive cars are chosen, then more individuals win on each drawing. It would be required that the winner keep possession of the car for one year or more in order for it to be free, which would discourage people from simply re-selling the car. However, if winners do manage to simply pass the car they’ve won on (in order to get the cash) the objective of the lottery is still met. There will be more cars of this type on the road either way.
I suppose this could be done by a state or a collection of states, but also, why not by a commission set up by the Federal Government?