Monday, July 7, 2008

Awaiting a visit from the auto stork

Well, we did it! After a month of serious number crunching, we tossed caution to the wind.  We put money down and our name on the waiting list for a 2008 Toyota Prius!  It was a really hard decision and perhaps not the most frugal choice (they're only producing them at level 5 package and up, starting at $27,000 - Ouch!), but we felt we were doing the right thing. The Prius has really low emissions, making it a green choice, and we've been told from friends we can easily expect getting more than 50 MPG (to compare with the 14 MPG we're currently getting with the Jeep). 

Originally, we were told the waiting list was 2-3 months (I understand in Dallas the wait is 6 months), but when we spoke to the dealer this time, he thought we would have her by the end of July! Now we just wait for the phone call telling us the auto stork has arrived. We don't know in advance what color she will be or what her interior will look like - will she have Dave's hubcaps or my rear view mirror? Stay tuned...

14 comments:

Sphere Trending said...
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eco 'burban mom said...

Now, what kind of shower do you throw for a couple expecting a Prius? Can't you just see a big hemp gift basket full of carbon off set credits, green care care products and homemade jam? All tied up with a bow made from recycled fabrics? :o)

I can't wait to see pictures of your new baby! If they would make a mini-van version I would be on the list straight away. Though, its sad there isn't a single car company making a family sized affordable hybrid. Wouldn't a PriWE (instead of a PriUS) be a great mini-van???

timeus said...

You don't to pick out your own features and options??? Are you keeping the jeep for just in case, or getting rid of her?

Academic said...

While I can understand the allure of the Prius, I am concerned about its reputation as merely a high-MPG model. There still seems to be some issues regarding the energy required to manufacture the Prius especially as it relates to the battery. When you consider the gas mileage of your Jeep versus gas mileage of other Asian and European manufacturers, there is definitely a gap. $27k seems like a big hit when there may have been other, cheaper, conventional options of raising your gas mileage if that was your motivation.

Please correct me if I'm wrong about the Prius battery issues.

Heather @ SGF said...

eco 'burban mom - He he! I love all those ideas! Actually we do need to go shopping for the little one. With the jeep, we could just stick our bikes in the back if we needed to. With the Prius, there's obviously not that much room so we need to get a bike rack.

Dave says that a minivan version is under design so who know, maybe it won't be much longer....

Timeus - With the level 5 Prius, there are many upgrade options included (it's far from bare bones). For instance, it will have the built in GPS. But since they can't seem to make enough of them to fill demand, they can make the higher end models and they still practically fly off the lot. About the only things we don't know are colors both interior or exterior.

We'll definitely be getting rid of the jeep. We're still discussing whether or not to sell it ourselves or just trade it in. If you know anyone who wants a jeep, let me know...

Academic - Although we did want serious MPG upgrade, that certianly wan't the entire equation. We took price into account, we took into account how much the money spent on the car would make in interest in the bank, we took into account that we would be buying a new car thus requiring all that manufacturing energy, etc.

We looked at other cars too (one which started at about 11K, but it didn't have the CO2 rating. We looked at buying used also, but all the cars we were considering were in such demand, that the used versions were just as expensive as the new versions. I kow that doesn't make sense to me either, but that's the way it was.

The other thing is that we're both pretty tight with money. Our possessions are typically well worn out before we get rid of them (Dave's last vehicle was, I think, 18 years old when he sold it; mine was totalled from an accident and I just never replaced it but it was 13 at the time). Yet time and again, we both kept coming back to the idea that we should go ahead and get the Prius. So part of the decision was going with our gut feeling.

Dave had a huge and complicated spreadsheet goign to take lots of different factors into account. We talked about it for a month before making a decision and it was something that had been on Dave's mind for much longer. I think the bottom line is there isn't a perfect choice in all this. We just made the best one we could. It defnitely costs money but we keep talking about eco options being more expensive and that those who can afford it should do what they can. When we thought about it, it's expensive, but we can afford it. It may not be the most frugal option, but I think (I hope), it will be the best choice for the environment.

As far as the battery, I'm not sure. Dave did a lot of research though. I'll check with him later today and see what I can find out.

Heather @ SGF said...

Timeus - I just found a list of what each of the package levels means. Here's what the options are and again, they're only building them #5 and higher right now. Should be a really nice car...

http://www.toyota.com/prius-hybrid/options.html

timeus said...

As long as it isn't burnt orange...

Heather @ SGF said...

Thankfully, they didn't have any BAD colors. We put our preference in as either white or silver metallic. With the Texas heat, we can use all the help we can get. We're definitely trying for the lighter colors.

Green Bean said...

Exciting stuff! I'm jealous.

ib mommy said...

Hope you get your car soon. I reserved a Smart last September and the delivery estimator says I will get it sometime between November and January!

Heather @ SGF said...

Green Bean - I'm excited too which is normally not the case for me. I've never driven one.

ib mommy - wow! That's a serious wait! I've seen a few of those around town. They're so teeny and cute! Do you have a dealer nearby? Have you driven one yet? It feels weird having purchased a car we didn't test drive but Dave says he drove one once and like it (the Prius, that is).

Dave said...

academic - I don't have a definitive answer for you but to say from the research that I have done, most of the energy use by a vehicle happens in the vehicle lifetime with the rest going to its creation and destruction. I think the study from MIT “On the Road in 2020." summed it up best "80% to 90% of all energy was used in the operation stage".

It is important to understand that the Prius uses a nickel-metal hydride battery. Nickel mining, like copper, is horrid, destructive, you name it bad but we are stuck as there is not a battery that meets all the requirements and is safe. There has been talk about Toyota using Lithium-ion batteries for years but safety concerns (think exploding laptop and now add gas into the picture) have kept them from being used. Thankfully, both nickel and copper are recycled but a better battery, as always, is desperately needed.

CaliforniaKat said...

Hi H, I found you through Going Crunchy's blog, where you said you'd dated a Greek for 6 years and missed those trips "home," feeling more at home in Greece than Texas. And I gather you're from CA, like me. I, however, made GR my home for 11 years (no man, just a dream) and I think I'm ready to leave now. But I'll always have this duality of two homes, two lives, two cultures that I feel harmonize with each other.

I love what you're doing in your life, being more green, taking action, being local. That's something I really miss as environmentalism isn't big over here (lots of talking, no action), everyone looks at me strangely when I reuse plastic bags and bring my canvas ones. We cycle, but often get hit by cars and lanes are blocked. I had no idea the price of a Prius had gotten that high, but in the end I do believe it's worth it. Seriously, I admire you.

Heather @ SGF said...

CaliforniaKat - unfortunately, I'm not from CA, but my hubby is and we go out once a year to visit his entire family. He's from Santa Cruz and it's such a beautiful area. People walk and bike all over the place, tons of people are at the beach hanging out or surfing and you just know these people called in sick to whatever work place they were "supposed" to report to. I'm such a bum at heart, I always feel I belong there where the world seems to revolve around something bigger than the whole 9-5 grind.

Technically the Prius starts at $21,000, but since Toyota is selling them before they even hit the lot (demand is so high), they are only making the higher end models. As much of a cheap (I mean frugal) person that I am, I'm really looking forward to ours coming in.

So what took you to Greece? Do you do much traveling there?