Hammer Time: The Unintended Benefits of Hybrids

Steven Lang
by Steven Lang
hammer time the unintended benefits of hybrids

Hybrids give you better fuel economy. Hybrids save the environment. Hybrids will even shine your shoes and make trees grow out of your ass. So say the left wing folks who are hated by the right wing folks who are then hated back by the left wing folks for being hated by those all too mean and hateful right wing folks. Where does that leave the rest of us who just drive these machines? Well, in surprisingly solid ground once you take politics out of the equation. A hybrid can…

1) Increase longevity – No, I am not talking about your life span or your bed span. What I’m referring to is the longevity of your engine, brakes, and pretty much everything in between. If driven in a conservative manner these things may outlast everything on the road… even a diesel. Of course you’re far better off with planetary gears for a transmission (Toyota) instead of stressed out little discs (Honda). Then there is the battery replacement which is anywhere from cheap (junkyard) to debt defying (dealer). Ok, let’s face it. Some of the costs are a real bitch. But then the engine isn’t revved as much. The brakes aren’t used as often, and the powertrain isn’t as stressed since granny style driving is encouraged. Wait… did I just describe a Toyota Corolla?

2) Insurance – There seldom isn’t a day where my wife and I aren’t struggling to become that calm conservative defensive… and arguably stoner-esque drivers. This is thanks to a little bar that effectively decreases our ‘score’ with every jolt, stab, and inopportune release of the pedal. Now that Newton’s first law has overtaken our desire to keep up with traffic, we’ve become geriatric styled cruisers with regenerative brakes serving as an Alzheimer’s solution to slowing down the surrounding traffic. Our insurance company is as happy as the nearby speed trapping Smokies are pissed. For all the commuting I do in the all too wacky state of Georgia, I consider that a fair trade.

3) No Jonesing – There is no way to bling out a hybrid without looking like a complete dork. Custom wheels? Perhaps those ultra-nerdy pizza plates can add .23 mpg to your ride but only the Grok Spock Ecomodder committee will ever care. A plastic spoiler? Racing seats? Some bumper sticker flair? Look, everyone already knows you’re driving a hybrid. Bringing attention to your automotive enlightment is like adding portholes to the front fenders. It’s the stylists version of hari-kari (or a Buick)… and think of all the mpg’s you’ll be losing! You’re driving a nickelshitting machine fer cryin’ out loud!

4) You KNOW who you are – If you’re one of those folks that likes to play video games and put money back in your pocket, a hybrid may be for you. If the most dangerous and rebellious thing you’ve ever done with your life is listen to Billy Joel songs, a hybrid may be for you. If you have become a walking demographic for what can loosely be called, ‘NPR Nation’, and got seriously pissed off when ‘Murder She Wrote’ got cancelled… a hybrid is definitely for you.

Unfortunately I now fit in all three of these categories.

5) Commuting Sucks – Think about it. Why do you need to ‘spend’ money doing something you already hate doing. Commuting is really just a complete bastard that drains endless amounts of hours from our life span… and quite possibly our bed span. A hybrid on the other hand turns the whole experience into a game. If I get 50 mpg instead of 20 mpg, I can afford a cruise in about three years. Do it for six years and you’ll have saved up enough to maximize your Roth IRA contribution. A decade? You can save just enough money to buy a replacement battery for the next ten years.

Oh what joy it is doing the same thing… over and over again. And that’s the thing. Hybrids are just one small step in eventually turning all of our cars into traveling offices and mobile yoga mats. We are pursuing the ever lowering of costly transport in the hopes that we can do more important things with our lives. Unfortunately as a car guy, I just haven’t figure out what exactly that is.

Wait… I figured it out.

If you decide to drive a hybrid, like yours truly, you’ll be contributing your money to this technology instead of a bunch of ululating douchebags that hate the West. Then again not all of them ululate. There’s Venezuela, and Russia, and Nigeria, and… Britain? Have you seen what passes as a Londoner these days?

Now I know why I drive this thing. I’m driving my hybrid in the hope that the good folk of Britain, Russia, and all of these God forsaken countries can free themselves from the shackles of government repression and thuggery. Well that, and I’m a cheap bastard who now has to pony up this year for a Disney cruise. So if you kindly souls see a Honda Insight never exceeding 60 mph on the right hand lane of the Interstate… don’t honk or provide a finger of guidance… it’s just me.

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2 of 72 comments
  • FifaCup Loving both Interior and exterior designs.
  • FifaCup This is not good for the auto industry
  • Jeff S This would be a good commuter vehicle especially for those working in a large metropolitan area. The only thing is that by the time you put airbags, backup cameras, and a few of the other required safety features this car would no longer be simple and the price would be not much cheaper than a subcompact. I like the idea but I doubt a car like this would get marketed in anyplace besides Europe and the 3rd World.
  • ScarecrowRepair That's what I came to say!
  • Inside Looking Out " the plastic reinforced with cotton waste used on select garbage vehicles assembled by the Soviet Union. "Wrong. The car you are talking about was the product German engineering, East German. It's name was Trabant.