Here’s an interesting article outlining the cost of an automobile from inception to scrap heap. It includes everything from raw materials to vehicle lifespan and fuel. Interestingly, the simplicity of the SUVs and their longer lifespan rendered them "cheaper" on the environment energy wise than even the most frugal of hybrids.
That’s a very interesting article. Particularly, it’s interesting that the study found:
bq. ‘… 62 percent of hybrid owners are dissatisfied with the fuel-economy performance of their cars given what they have paid for them. This means that when gas prices go up, these people don’t rush out to buy more hybrids. "They buy a Chevy Aveo," says Spinella. "It delivers the same fuel economy as a Prius, but at half the price."’
Where have I heard that before?
One point in the article, though, seems faulty. It’s obvious that cutting edge technology costs more per mile now, but once there are more hybrids on the road, the manufacturing facilities and procedures are in place and they are more "the norm," many of the extra costs will disappear. I think Ford’s decision to back away from their promise to put more hybrids on the road is a mistake (albeit one that they might have had to make to keep their heads above water). The money "lost" now is an investment into the future of cars – one that can earn a place in the market of tomorrow. The longer Ford waits, the more behind the game they’ll be. Then again, maybe that’s their plan: build cars cheaply using old/tried technology they can buy from other companies who had to forked out the big bucks for development ten years ago.
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