Sunday, July 17, 2005

Too Good Not to Quote

This article in today's Times about how the manufacturers of those eco-friendly hybrids we all say we wish we could drive, if only they were as big & bad-ass as the Hummer, have begun replacing any nominal environmental consideration for the more hairy-testicle concern of, sigh, acceleration, is just too good to pass up. It is, I am not afraid to admit sanctimoniously, because that is my right as an American with a blog, truly symptomatic of just about everything I loathe about the modern human condition. Read it all ... and then weep at its close:

Consumer Reports, in an article published in May, found that in actual on-the-road conditions the Accord hybrid averaged 25 m.p.g., versus 24 m.p.g. for the 4-cylinder model and 23 m.p.g. for the nonhybrid V-6. The E.P.A. figures show a larger benefit for the hybrid, but the agency's fuel economy figures are considered by many to be inaccurate because they do not reflect the way cars are actually driven.

The two-miles-per-gallon increase over the V-6, about 8 percent, is still significant, and federal tax rules, which are based on cost and not mileage benefit achieved, still give an Accord hybrid buyer a substantial subsidy. But 8 percent is not in the range that would make a substantial dent in American oil consumption. If every car in the country were converted to a hybrid with that improved mileage, the gain would be swallowed up in three to four years by growth in driving demand.

Mr. [Mark] Buford said he got just what he wanted from the Accord, a hybrid with no sacrifices. "I wasn't prepared to give up anything to 'go green' - not performance, amenities, or space," he said.

The HILARIOUS kicker, of course, is that Mr. Buford is still able (a) to listen to NPR, perhaps even contribute, and consider himself a liberal eco-friendly warrior; and (b) cash in on his $600 tax credit. If everything holds to form, I'm sure he'll take his savings, buy into TerraPass , and enjoy the wonder of the emissions trading market.