"No matter how paranoid or conspiracy-minded you are, what the government is actually doing is worse than you imagine." - - - William Blum

February 28, 2008

As I drive around Los Angeles every day I am amazed at the number of hybrid cars. I'm sure that many owners bought theirs because it was the environmentally "right" thing to do (it's the reason I got mine in 2002). However, I'm pretty sure that the majority of owners decided on their purchase because of the price of gasoline. I'm sorry to see so many low-income people paying exorbitant prices for their gasoline. The fact that the oil companies wring every last cent out of us in order to maximize their profit only adds to the overall misery.

Part of me hopes that the price of oil continues to rise, thus swaying even more people to drive hybrids or increase their demand of electric cars. I find that hybrid drivers tend to be better-behaved on the road, rarely are involved in accidents, and their cars rarely break down. Give credit to Toyota (and to a lesser extent, Honda) for designing quality hybrid vehicles and making them reasonably affordable.

What I'm really waiting for are mass-produced electric cars. It looks like we're about 2-3 years away from that, and I think my Prius will hold out 'till then. In spite of what one might read, the technology for electric cars is already here. What we need is a commitment by an automaker (like Toyota did with Prius) to push to model out there and let demand catch up with supply. Toyota did not adequately plan for the response and for a couple of years the demand actually outpaced the supply. I am convinced that the demand for electric cars is there and the car buyers will eat up a supply of moderately-priced cars that will get a couple hundred miles on a charge. I wonder which car maker will take the first plunge.

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