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August 06, 2009


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Robert Dickie

John, great post. I agree with your education perspective. I am not an advocate for messing with the free market. However, if the government is going to come in a regulate I think they need to ensure the playing field is fair. Putting regulations on some and not others opens up the discussion that maybe the winners were the ones who were the most politically connected and had the right friends in the right places. That is not free market principles where winners and losers are deceided based on the consumers deceiding the quality of their goods and services.

Thanks again for sharing!

John Dickinson


I think all auto makers in the US should comply with all of the same rules and regulations, but I do not think this is the root of the problem.

The root of the problem is "requiring" auto companies to comply with certain fuel economy levels. This sounds like they are trying to legislate and regulate the free market. Here is my personal example:

I bought a used 2003 Honda Civic Hybrid in 2006 for $14,500. My main reason was because it would cost me less to fill up because of the high MPG I would get, not because I want to conserve oil or pollute the air less. I currently get 50+ MPG driving by myself and 40+ MPG with a full car. At the time, family and friends were saying things like "I heard it costs a lot to replace the hybrid battery," or "They cost more to buy," or "You don't get much benefit out of driving a hybrid." After having this car for over 3 years now, I have determined that people really do not think things through and/or their priorities are very different than mine, even thought they claim their priorities are the same as mine.

First, I paid $14,500 for a car when many people spend far more than that on their vehicles and then claim my hybrid cost more!

Second, the dealer will charge about $3,000 to replace the hybrid battery. I recently replaced my hybrid battery for $625 and did it myself.

Third, an added benefit that I realized after I bought the hybrid was when the State of Arizona passed a law allowing certain hybrid vehicles to drive in the carpool lane even with only one person in the car. This saves me anywhere from 30-45 minutes per weekday of travel and commute time that I can spend with my family.

There are already vehicles that get great fuel economy because there is a market segment that wants it. There would be more people that want more fuel efficient vehicles if they were informed and educated differently instead of educated and informed the same as my family and friends regarding efficient technologies.


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