Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

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Mister Imperceptible
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Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:40 pm

I bought a 2016 Civic in June 2017. It was a leftover and I stole it from the dealership (and paid cash), as the 2018’s were coming out soon at the time. It had 250 dealership miles when I bought it- now has over 27,000.

I just bought an RV and I’m wondering if I should try to insulate myself against a future oil crisis. The Civic gets great gas mileage, over 37MPG. However, a gas engine is a gas engine, and I would hate to have 2 gas-only engines if the cost of gasoline becomes prohibitive. When I got the Civic, I passed on getting a hybrid or electric car because with the cost of gas being what it was, I figured it would take way too long to recoup the increased cost of a green vehicle.

Buying a more expensive green vehicle could be like a proxy for having commodities in my investment portfolio.

I love my Civic, it’s a sweet ride and pretty good looking for an inexpensive car. I had been planning to drive it until it died. I could always sell it to a family member, so I would feel less bad about the depreciation.

Thoughts?

prognastat
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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by prognastat » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:45 pm

How much is your civic currently worth if selling yourself and what kind of car would you be looking to buy and for how much? It really is a cost benefit analysis as far as how much the up front cost would be and how much you would be saving on transportation costs over time. Also keep in mind if you are getting a more expensive car insurance would be higher too increasing costs.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Fri Aug 03, 2018 6:57 pm

Those considerations are less important as the decision would be made in preparation for a Mad Max peak oil scenario. As commodities are a drag on a portfolio in prosperous times, getting a hybrid or electric car would not be optimal for a status quo scenario with cheap gasoline, but rather to cover downside risk in an energy crisis.

ZAFCorrection
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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by ZAFCorrection » Sat Aug 04, 2018 2:31 am

Not to say it wouldn't be worth it, but if we are talking an actual Mad Max scenario, you're probably going to have a hard time getting electricity and keeping the car properly maintained over a multi-year period. Even if most power plants don't directly run off of oil, huge chunks of the economy, including basically all transportation, require oil. Natural gas, which does provide a huge chunk of grid power, is also tied directly to oil production.

If you got some notions in the direction of apocalypse proofing, get some photovoltaic cells. They'll probably outlast you, and ghetto lead-acid batteries can be made low-tech-style. The allegation is simple inverters aren't that difficult either. You can at least avoid having to take a shit in the dark!

Seppia
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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by Seppia » Sat Aug 04, 2018 3:46 am

Sorry for the curveball, but why not consider a four stroke, small engine scooter?

Something similar to a Yamaha Nmax 155.
You get around 80-100 mpg depending how fast you ride, can carry some load with the under seat compartment + you can add some storage with a box in the back.

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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by jennypenny » Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:48 am

Your Civic gets better gas mileage than my Highlander hybrid.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sat Aug 04, 2018 6:06 am

@ZAF

When I say Mad Max scenario, I do not actually mean having to chase down the Toecutter, Bubba Zanetti, and Johnny the Boy in the Last Interceptor. I mean oil is at $150 or $200 a barrel or more and prices have exploded at the pump.

I already plan to put solar panels on the RV.

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=9874&start=40#p171794

@Seppia

I’ve thought about a scooter or moped but see above where I’ve put on 27,000 miles in 14 months. It’s the one very unERE aspect of my life that won’t be changing at this stage in the accumulation phase. Those 27,000 miles have included carrying significant cargo, and I would still need a car in the cold Northeast winters. If I got a scooter or moped it would be in ADDITION to my commuter car. And maybe it’s worth it.

@jennypenny

The moral considerations of a gas engine aside, the Civic is just a great car. When I bought it, I was hoping by the time I was ready to get another vehicle, the hybrid/electric car technologies would be more affordable.

Dream of Freedom
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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by Dream of Freedom » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:56 am

In a mad Max senerio I would want a Humvee with a 50 cal mounted in top.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:14 am

@dream

It might be cheaper to buy a used bulldozer and outfit it. You can rent out the unadulterated bulldozer to contractors in a time of prosperity and when the panic starts you make sure you have the parts ready to outfit.


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stand@desk
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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by stand@desk » Sat Aug 04, 2018 8:17 am

Depends what the goals are..

The easiest way to protect yourself against oil shock is to need no car.

If that is not an option then a hybrid might be an idea, but is it worth the hassle and marginal gains or losses from selling your gas vehicle and buying the hybrid? It seems switching to the hybrid is more of an self-image concern than a way to enhance ERE IMO.

If gas gets really expensive then everything else in the economy could as well.

If it were me I would keep the gas car. I have a gas Civic as well but got it used last year. It would also depend if you could sell your Civic for the same price or more than you bought it. If not I'd probably keep it.

I like buying cheaper used vehicles (around 5-8 $k) so if this oil price shock came it would not be as hard on me as my investment in the car is relatively minor. But people buying new expensive vehicles (20-40-60 $k) etc. They are much more at risk for Mad Max Oil value losses in their vehicle.

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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by Kriegsspiel » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:30 am

If your only criteria is the upcoming Mad Max event, then why would you bother getting an electric car.... to commute to a job that likely wouldn't exist anymore?

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:45 am

Plan for Mad Max event on one hand, and the harnessing of nuclear fusion and the discovery of free beer on the other. I can work out anything in between. :P

George the original one
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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by George the original one » Sun Aug 05, 2018 4:44 pm

If you're driving over 20k miles per year, then you're driving way too much. Fix that before you try fixing a problem with the price of fuel. In other words, with less driving, you can easily handle 4x-5x increase in the cost of fuel.

Lucky C
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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by Lucky C » Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:06 am

If you're driving about 25k miles per year you must be doing a lot of highway driving. 2016 Civics are rated for 42 MPG highway. They're very streamlined and can achieve about the same mileage as a more "luxury" or more boxy hybrid sedan. I have a 2016 Civic and get around 43-44 MPG and it's not entirely highway. This is without employing any special hypermiling tactics, just avoiding unnecessary braking and excessive acceleration.

My point is you should be able to change your driving/braking habits to achieve 15% better mileage instead of having to get a hybrid and having about the same improvement with no change to your driving habits. Or if the inefficiency was mainly coming from hauling cargo, you can expect a nice improvement in mileage if you're not doing that any more.

Hybrid also loses its effectiveness the more you are driving on flat highways where you don't employ regenerative braking. Also add the cost of replacing the hybrid battery potentially not under warranty.

Electric is just as dependent on fossil fuels unless your electricity is already coming from renewables. However once you're set up with off-grid solar, electric will make much more sense.

Mikeallison
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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by Mikeallison » Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:22 pm

I own two suvs each of which use the gas of three modern economy cars going the same distance. The key was buying a home in town and close to jobs and services so I can afford to tool around in them.

I also just bought another broken honda crx, swapped a used 2.0l crv engine into it, and now have a very quick "sports car" that gets 34mpg. Now I just need to upgrade the brakes so the damn thing will stop with the added power.

Anyway not sure if any of this is helpful lol, but ya for me success was location more than choice of vehicle.

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BRUTE
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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by BRUTE » Mon Aug 20, 2018 9:59 pm

no

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vexed87
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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by vexed87 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:39 am

Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble but refined petroleum has a 6-12 month shelf life in optimal conditions, so a mad max future is off the cards! Despite what you see in the movies, most cars will be totally inoperable within 6 months to a year of a breakdown in supply. The good news is, you can melt down the car for useful metals, the wheels will come in handy for a horse drawn cart and you can bodge a DIY wind turbine with the car battery and alternator.

As other say, the best way to shield yourself from oil shocks is not to need the oil in the first place. Electric cars are all well and good, but if oil goes to $200/barrel, (as other's have rightly said!) there will be no job to drive to, at least not in the long term. A simpler solution would be to stockpile enough fuel to see you through a few weeks-months of shortages, just bear in mind aforementioned shelf life. You’ll need to rotate your stock or take expensive precautions to stop your fuel going bad (not really economical on an individual scale.)

Living within walking distance of the things you need will be crucial. That’s what I would be focusing my energies on. Motor transport is inherently unsustainable, so trying to sustain it is a fools errand. In the event of a long slow collapse scenario, and you are one of the lucky ones to keep a salaried job, if demand for electricity increases because lots of people switch to electric cars, then you'll likely see huge increases in cost of electrical energy making motoring the preserve of the wealthy, don’t expect to ERE with the running costs of an electric car. Increased demand for electricity will require huge investment in installing new infrastructure due to increased loads on the grid, that means paying more $/kWh on top of the general hikes we already see happening. As time goes on, more and more of us electricity grid users will be subsidising those running electric cars. I would keep the petrol car and expect to walk or bike everywhere once the big one hits. Make sure you are fit enough to transition. I wouldn’t want to be a couch potato when the next fuel crisis hits.

We might able to bike on motorways (interstates highways in US speak?) eventually which will be cool, that is until the asphalt weathers enough to become unridable, pro tip, make sure you have a suspension mountain bike or fat bike, rather than skinny road racing tyres which will be less useful as road infrastructure starts to age and doesn't get repaired. :D

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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by jennypenny » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:14 pm

vexed87 wrote:
Tue Aug 21, 2018 9:39 am
Living within walking distance of the things you need will be crucial. That’s what I would be focusing my energies on.
I agree with your post except that living within walking distance of what you need is next to impossible in many parts of the US. I just spent a few days in South Dakota and Wyoming, and there's not much walkable there.

We should drive much less often (as GTOO said) and plan on owning our vehicles for three decades instead of three years -- that would reduce the need/impact. My 16yo van only has 110K miles on it, and I've taken four 2500 mile trips with it since 2002. It's possible to keep miles to a minimum, even in the burbs.

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vexed87
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Re: Should I Sell My Civic and Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Post by vexed87 » Tue Aug 21, 2018 2:48 pm

@JP, Oh yes, it's just an ideal to strive to. To be honest I cycle 10 miles to work and 4 miles to the nearest supermarket. So my situation isnt walkable really. It could be if a farmers market booted up. It wont for now whilst everyone drives to the supermarket. It's impossible to really plan for after the energy crisis because we don't know what will be left standing and how communities respond. Luckily European cities are in a better position as most old urban centres were surrounded by farmland and our towns and cities were built to be walkable, hence their charm and appeal to tourists. Urban sprawl has ruined many places though.

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