Thursday, April 07, 2005

in search of real costs...

WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: Hybrid Savings Calculator: "Footprint calculators are a good way to get a sense of how one's lifestyle affects the environment -- a way of making the invisible visible, as we say -- but they often suffer from being a bit too generic, making broad assumptions that may not necessarily fit how you live. Tools for measuring use are helpful, if sometimes awkward (a problem remedied by better ways of presenting information). What we need more of are ways of calculating the effect of specific activities.

Mixed Power, oneof the growing number of web sites for hybrid car enthusiasts, gives us a good start with its handy-dandy web calculator, designed to let you figure out just how much you would save by dumping that Canyonero XCM and moving to something without the godzilla-like carbon footprint. Enter the price of gas, the mileage of your current vehicle, how many miles you drive in a given timeframe, and which hybrid you're considering -- HCH, HAC, Insight, Prius, Escape or RX400h -- and your savings will be shown. The calculator tells you how many fewer gallons of gas you'll be consuming, and how much money you'll be saving -- an almost useless figure, since gasoline prices won't remain stable for the full 10 years to which the calculator projects. Fortunately, the calculator also reveals how many pounds of CO2 you will no longer be personally responsible for via your driving -- a number which is of mild interest to most people now, but will likely be a regular part of conversation a decade hence."


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