Thursday, June 24, 2010

Buying a new car Pt.1: Miles Per Gallon

I'll spare my multitudinous readership the toiling ruminations around getting a car, perhaps, until a later post. But for now I will post my simple calculations about the benefit of owning a Toyota Prius, just so I can get these damn post-it notes off my desk.

Very roughly speaking, you'll save $1000 a year in gas driving a Prius

That's $83 a month I'd save on my monthly payments over buying a similar car.

How I calculated this:
Assuming you drive 14,500 miles per year
Assuming $3.00 per gallon of regular gas (current midwest average=$2.78 but I'm banking on an increase in the next few years)

A Prius gets about 50 MPG city and 45 mpg highway on average, from what I'm reading and have experienced in my mom's 2010 prius. I'll calculate using 48 mpg. I'm generally in the more aggressive driving camp and Chicago winters have a tendency to lower the fuel economy of the Prius some during super cold months so this is somewhat optimistic, but I just achieved 63 mpg on a recent bumper-to-bumper drive up the Kennedy Expressway.

Yearly Gas Cost: (48mpg) Prius: $906
(25.5mpg) Mazda 3: $1705 (Prius savings: $800)
(23 mpg) Subaru Impreza 2.5: $1891 (Prius savings: $985)
(20.5 mpg) BMW 3xi: $2121 (Prius savings: $1215)

My Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill Solution #1

I have had many ideas for solving the deepwater horizon oil spill. Unfortunately, none of them have been implemented yet, and I'm certain there's a lot I don't know, but I'd really welcome the chance to sit down with someone from BP or the technical team that is trying to fix this problem, someone who KNOWS the whole situation inside and out from an engineering perspective, and offer my many solutions and see if they can turn them down for whatever reason.

Here is a brief pictorial showing the most easy and obvious first pass method.