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.
1. BREAKING NEWS: ROADS DON’T PAVE THEMSELVES.
The 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.
2. UNCLE SAM IS DONE NAPPING AT THE WHEEL.
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.
3. I WANT YOUR MONEY MO-MO-MONEEY. YEAH, I DO.
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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4. YOU: “PADRE, IS MY BATTERY GOING TO DIE?” PRIEST: “YES, MY SON. AND SOON!“
After 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.
5. HYBRID & EV BATTERIES ARE FRANKENSTEIN MONSTERS
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.
6. AMERICA’S ELECTRICAL INFRASTRUCTURE IS A COMBUSTIBLE HOUSE OF PROPANE & BLACK POWDER SOAKED CARDS.
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 with 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.
7. WHAT A SHORT STRANGE TRIP IT’S BEEN.
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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