Why the Price of Gas Is Too Low

2014 Ford Fusion Energi sedan is Ford's newest plug-in hybrid; it has an EPA-estimated range of 620 miles when starting with a full tank of gas and fully charged battery.

Ford Fusion Energi

Everybody wants to save money. I hate paying a lot for gasoline, too. But, regular is just over $3 a gallon in California now, and I heard on the radio yesterday that somewhere in the continental U.S. it was below $2 a gallon. Hooray!

But wait a minute. The lower fuel prices go, the more people go out and buy large, gas-guzzling cars. Price is a big factor in those purchases, and the supply of Toyota Priuses piles up in the dealer lots.

Hybrid versions of cars that are also sold as gas models cost more. The idea is to save money, and they do–eventually. The real reason, though, to buy a hybrid, electric, or small, highly efficient vehicle is to save the planet!

Some folks do make that choice. I can think of three sets of them now. My neighbors traded in a thirsty, but beautifully maintained Lincoln Town Car for a midsize Ford Fusion Energi plug-in hybrid. That should triple or quadruple their mileage, and reduce their carbon footprint significantly.

Another couple I know, already Prius owners, leased a Nissan Leaf pure electric vehicle. The $99/month payment was a factor, but these folks, who have the solar panels on their roof to fuel the thing, are simply making the right choice.

I just found out today that another friend just got himself a brand new Volkswagen eGolf pure electric car. He already was planet friendly with his Honda Fit, but this makes a difference.

But, when I circumambulate the parking lot at my company, there are very few hybrids and electrics there. It’s going to take a while.

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