Living Green in my car

I am not a car buff. When it comes to my car, I want it to be dependable and economical with a little bit of “cute” mixed in. My 2001 Toyota Echo fills the bill. The only thing that is likely to convince me to trade it in rather than run it into the ground is the lure of an electric car (or at least a hybrid).

Yesterday’s Seattle Times ran two blurbs on the front of the NW Autos section that apply to me. The headline of the first read, “Been a while since you bought a new car? There are big advances to anticipate.” The second read, “E-FOCUS on sale.”

It’s true. When I see or hear about the features that are now standard in new cars, I feel as if I’m in a time warp. In fact, when I bought my car new, it was devoid of many of the updated features that other cars had, so now I am even further behind.

Even so, I’m pleased that I get an average of 33 mpg, have no car payments, and have logged over 110,000 miles with no major repairs. It fulfills, in part, my commitment to living green in terms of transportation. Yes, I could probably take the bus more often, but even though my job as a Prudential real estate agent requires a lot of driving, I still put fewer than 10,000 miles/year on my car. Fortunately, I live in the Westwood Village neighborhood, which is a very walkable part of West Seattle. Even in the worst snow storms I can walk to several West Seattle restaurants, grocery stores and other retailers, plus the Post Office, Southwest Community Center and more.

I suspect that it may take another 5-10 years for the auto makers to really perfect electric cars, which should be just about the time my current car “runs out of gas” (pun intended). That, and the $40,000 price tag on the E-FOCUS, give me the incentive to wait for my first electric car.

How about you? Will your next car be a hybrid or all electric?

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