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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Environmental impact of production/disposal of vehicles

    I drive a 2000 dodge dakota V-8. I was looking at getting a new diesel Toyoa Hilux to replace it. (I live on an island where there no dealers to service hybrids, and gas is $5 a gallon).

    HERE is the environmental dillema. I believe that the whole process of buying new cars is much more destructive to the environment than keeping a vehicle for 10 years before replacing it- (if it can survive that long).

    I think that since I drive only about 5-15 miles a day, it would be more environmently efficient to just keep driving what im driving, in order to stall off the production of a new vehicle for me and the disposal of my current vehicles. any contrary ideas?

  2. #2
    I think you are probably correct that you're better off environmentally by keeping your current vehicle than buying a newer, more fuel efficient one.
    First of all, you aren't a high mileage driver, especially on your 5 mile days, Second, you're right that driving your old vehicle longer saves the manufacturing energy.
    I wouldn't worry too much about the 'disposal' of vehicles though. Old automobiles are mostly recycled and have been so for decades although it definitely does require a lot of energy to manufacture a new automobile, even from recycled materials.
    I, personally support your plan to drive your current truck until the wheels fall off, after which time, hopefully, we'll have even more fuel efficient or maybe even plug-in vehicles. You could potentially avoid that $5.00/gal gasoline prices with a good wind turbine or solar panels and a plug-in vehicle.
    One possible alternative though: what is the maximum speed on your island? If it is below about 30 mph, you might want to look into Neighborhood Electric Vehicles. These glorified golf carts (some with real, sealed doors and windows) run off of pure electricity, are quite cheap, and are extremely efficient. Their downside is that they are limited to 25 mph top speeds because they haven't been designed for crashworthiness. You might also look into the Zap Xebra (http://www.zapworld.com/electric-vehicles/electric-cars) which tops off at 45 mph and it is registered as a motorcycle.

  3. #3

    My father is in the car

    My father is in the car business, and has been for a very long time. I have a little secret for you. They are gonna make those cars whether you buy them or not. Now maybe if you got 100's of 1,000's of people to follow you in your quest to save the enviroment in that way, maybe it would work. But you alone are not going to be able to make a difference. If you really want to help the environment, buy the new car.

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