Be Less Stupid, Featured, Video — July 8, 2013 at 4:53 PM

7 Things You Must Know Before You Buy A Hybrid or Electric Car (VIDEO)



Both the federal government and individual states are offering fantastic incentives to drivers willing to buy a hybrid or 100% electric vehicle. The feds offer generous tax breaks, while states offer rebates (in California, it’s $7500), free use of the carpool lane (when there is only one passenger in the car), and easy access to more convenient parking in retail areas and at government buildings. Plus, in Texas, new hybrid drivers get to pull the switch at an up coming execution. I think.

However, before you start looking for a sweet new ride you expect will save you money, save on gas and get you backstage at the next Sting concert, we want you to know BOTH the this… and the that

So, here’s 7 things you must know before you buy a hybrid or electric car.


Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 1.18.46 PMThe federal tax on each gallon of gas is 18.1 cents. On top of that, drivers also pay a state tax that ranges from 20 cents to 50 cents depending on your state. The national tax average on a single gallon of gasoline is 48.8 cents, the proceeds of which pay for road construction, road repairs, and “listening bugs” for the NSA, just like 12% of all the other taxes we pay. So, if you’re not buying gas for your car, you’re not paying the 48.8 cents a gallon in taxes and you’re driving on the roads for free. If you just count the 1.5 million Prius vehicles on the roads in the US, that’s 720 million a year in uncollected taxes. When you factor in the rest of the hybrid and EVs, that number balloons to more like a billion a year in uncollected taxes.


In order to recoup lost tax revenue, the state of Washington in late 2012 passed a new bill that charges hybrid owners an additional 50 bucks a year to register their car and charges $100 to electric vehicle drivers. Virginia charges hybrid drivers an additional $64 to register their cars. North Carolina, Arizona, Michigan, Oregon and Texas are all formulating similar plans to tax EV and hybrid drivers.

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The Nissan Leaf is a 100% electric car that retails for just under $30,000. Forget gas consumption, if you’re prepared to spend $30,000 dollars, you could also own much nicer looking cars, including the Ford Mustang, a Jeep Wrangler, the Audi A4 and the Mazda RX-8 among many others.

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Screen Shot 2013-06-12 at 1.18.11 PMAfter 5 to 7 years, your EV’s battery pack is going to lose nearly 30% of its efficiency. SURPRISE! Meaning, if you were getting 70 miles on a complete charge, 5 to 7 years later, you’ll get about 49. And with just 49 miles on a complete charge, you’re very likely going to want to replace the battery pack. The current cost for a new EV battery is $15-$20 thousand dollars. Even worse? You know how you’ve become accustom to substantive speed and storage improvements to your computer or Iphone every year? That’s due to improvements in digital circuitry (making things smaller). The science on EV and Hybrid batteries has reached its peak. It’s maxed out. You will not now or now will you ever see substantive improvements to EV or hybrid batteries– unless the underlying chemicals used to store power and their reactions are changed to something entirely different — which is not yet invented or yet practical.


Two of the key components of hybrid and EV batteries are both rare and remotely found. The cadmium component of a hybrid battery is mined in Northern Canada. The lithium for an EV battery comes from a mine in Argentina.

This video explains how hybrid car batteries are made, how they get to the US, and what becomes of them once they’ve completed their life cycle.



What happens in your home on the hottest summer day? You turn on the A/C… and then if you’ve planned properly, you plug in the margarita machine you rented for your wife’s birthday… and BAM! You blow a fuse. It’s lights out. Party ruined. Wife furious. Now, stay transformerwith me, this next part’s gonna have some math (sorry). So, read it slowly. Or twice. According to the US Energy Information Agency, the average US home uses about 900 kwH of electricity each month. That’s about 30 kwH per day. Now, according to Consumer Reports, it takes about 22kwH to charge the Nissan Leaf to capacity (although, in fairness, I have a friend who uses 10kwH to charge his Leaf — which he does at night). Regardless if it takes 22kwH or 10kwH to charge your EV, charging your EV uses either 50% or 33% as much electricity as your entire house.

That Margarita blender you rented needs about .3kwH to run vs 22 (or 10) for your EV. That’s “point 3” vs 22kwH.

The point? As the number of EVs on the road increases, at some point in the near future we will have a scenario where everyone plugs their EV in simultaneously, and the entire electrical grid will explode in a massive fireball and come to a crashing halt. The simple truth is that the current system of electrical delivery that we have in the US is already operating at near capacity… and even charging your vehicles at night, as is recommended, (when power usage is lower), is not going to stave off the inevitable — unless the US invests billions upon billions in improving, updating, and increasing electric power delivery.

Want to see a FREE preview of This vs That’s experiment to determine which car is really better, a hybrid or combustion engine vehicle? Click the photo below.

Five cars tested.
Click this photo to see a FREE preview of This vs That’s Hybrid vs Combustion Engine Challenge.


The Nissan Leaf gets about 78 miles per charge. However, that’s 78 miles on an idyllic day where driving conditions are relatively flat, traffic is kept to a minimum and the heat or a/c have been turned off. However, on a cold day where the driver must run the heat, or a very hot day where the driver needs the a/c, or at night where the driver needs the headlights, or if the roads are hilly, drivers may only get as much as 40 miles on a charge. Now, the average American commutes a total of 32 miles round trip each day. Now your margin of error is just 8 miles till your car becomes an expensive doorstop with wheels. If your EV runs out of battery power, it’s not like a combustion car where a tow truck driver brings you two gallons of gas. No. When your EV runs out of power, it needs to be hauled some place where it can be plugged in. Fun day!

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  1. Gary Landers

    I drive a 2006 Prius and have no regrets or apologies. After 135,000 miles our Prius still moves me, my wife, and considerable gear 46 to 49 miles per gallon. Actually, my Prius gets over 50 MPG if we are traveling light, and moving at 55 MPH, which is not too often. I am not ashamed of using the roads and paying fewer taxes because I am in a much lighter vehicle that does far less damage than heavier, less fuel-efficient vehicles. I also like to think that perhaps my fuel savings help reduce the need to have our brave military fight foreign wars for oil. Besides, I pay my share of taxes when I am driving my Ford F350 diesel 4X4 crew-cab truck when I am volunteering as a firefighter.

    • Gary, I’d like to correct your notion about your car’s weight. According to, the 2006 Prius weighs 2890. Here are the weights of a few comperable cars:
      The 2011 Chevy Aveo weighs 2500, the 2013 Toyota Carolla weighs 2700, 2009 Honda Civic weighs 2500, I think you see where this is going. Remember, you drive a car that has TWO engines. Assuming any single car does physical damage to the road — and I’m not saying it does — because of its weight, yours would do a similar amount. And I’m suspect of your claim that at 55mph, your car is getting 50mpg. That’s very very unlikely. Your car, as you know, gets it’s best MPG when it’s traveling under 35 (or so) when you brake often, converting that energy back into the stored battery. At 55mph, your Prius is running ONLY on its combustion engine. The US Dept of Energy suggests that your 2006 prius should get 45mpg on the highway — HOWEVER — those #s are notoriously high, and assume you are driving straight, that the roads are flat, that their is no wind, you are not running the ac/heat, and that you are running at a constant speed. I have no doubt you are genuinely concerned about the environment… and that you care about our dependence on foreign oil — I’m just skeptical of your #s. That being said — I am thrilled you took a few minutes to share your thoughts!

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