On the way home from work today, I was thinking strongly about what I know well enough to write about. As I sipped my Grande Skim Latte, I looked around at all the shiny new vehicles around me, and realized my 1996 Volvo 850 T5 Station Wagon (pictured) has many benefits that these cars did not.
First off, my car doesn't have all the crappy electronic gizmos that are going to render most of these cars worthless in the long haul (used cars with a nav system are typically less valuable than an identical car without one several years down the road...not to mention, more electronic goodies = more to break over time).
Second, my car has a lower carbon footprint per mile than most any of the vehicles that were sitting around me on the road. Think about it, between 40-50% of all of a vehicle's mine to recycle carbon comes from the production and recycling process. Therefore, the more miles you put on ANY car, the less carbon per mile you have used. Therefore, my 1996 Volvo with 113,000 miles has a lower per mile carbon footprint than that shiny Toyota Prius sitting next to me. Even though, while sitting next to me, the Prius is emitting zero carbon.
Third, and finally, my car is paid for. If shit were to hit the fan, I'd get to keep the car. Not to mention, I'm not dumping more interest into the cost of the vehicle over the long haul. Sure I don't have a warranty, so all repairs come out of pocket, but if you replace the engine in a car once every five years whether it needs it or not, you actually save money over financing a $20,000 car for five years.
Regardless of the situation, however, my goal is to run this car from today, to 213,000 miles. Through this blog I intend to chronicle my journeys throughout the country on a day to day basis. Each entry will be headed with the mileage when I get up and completed with the mileage when I go to bed. So, watch tomorrow for the first entry :-)