Why do people want me to "justify" such a purchase?

Discussion in 'Prius PHEV Plug-In Modifications' started by adric22, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. adric22

    adric22 Ev and Hybrid Enthusiast

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    Everytime I tell somebody about my Enginer kit in my old Prius or about the new kit I want to buy for my new Prius, people want to start scrutinizing me with questions about if the modification is financially beneficial. Besides all of the talk about saving the environment, or not paying money to terrorist states, the best comeback to that argument ever occurred to me.

    I realized that I knew several people, including some of the very people who had argued with me about these plug-in mods, who had spent thousands of Dollars themselves on useless modifications to their vehicle. For example, one person I know spent about $8,000 jacking up their truck into a big 4x4 with giant tires. That certainly didn't benefit him in any financial way (quite the opposite when you consider gas mileage) but nobody confronted him about whether the modification would pay for itself. I know another person who spent many thousands lowering their truck and doing a whole bunch of modifications to the body. Again, where is the benefit? I also know somebody who spent a bunch of money souping up their engine into a muscle-car with nitro and all of that stuff. Same story, lots of money with no payback.

    So why can't people just accept when I tell them "because I just want it, because it will make me happy."
     
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  2. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    Off hand, I suspect that is exactly what they want to hear.
     
  3. linuxpenguin

    linuxpenguin Active Member

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    Mmm, I hope you don't think I'm one of the people who has been giving you a hard time :). My comments are always designed to be constructive. Anyway, I've had /lots/ of people criticize my decision to convert my car saying that it's not economically feasible or viable. But I simply point out exactly what you said--people drop far more money on far less useful / beneficial things such as leather seats, sun roofs and modified exhausts. Those things don't even have the ability to pay themselves off over time.

    Additionally, I bought my car as an insurance salvage from AutoBeYours in professionally restored condition--so it was actually cheaper for me to buy my car and add in the PICC conversion system than it was to buy a brand new car with all the bells and whistles (mine is a fully loaded package that I got for less than half the original retail value). I also tell people that :).

    Incidentally I would highly recommend you check out AutoBeYours (www.autobeyours.com) before making your decision about buying a new car / system since an insurance rebuild car can make things significantly more affordable (and I can vouch for the work they do--I haven't had any problems with my car since I got it and Steve Woodruff over there is always very helpful if I have questions).

    EDIT: Looks like AutoBeYours is selling a PICC converted 2008 with 20k miles loaded Prius for $23k. Might want to check it out?

    Andrew
     
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  4. adric22

    adric22 Ev and Hybrid Enthusiast

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    No, not you. Nobody on the forums, actually. I'm talking about family and friends that know me in person.

    Actually, I already bought one this Saturday. Here's a photo of it:
    [​IMG]

    It is a 2008 model with 52,000 miles. I paid $12,500 for it and it is in flawless condition inside and out. However, it has been wrecked but it was not a salvage title. In fact, it appears it was all body damage and not anything structural. So yes, I feel like with the price I paid for this, I can add a nice plug-in kit and the cost of both will still be less than buying a brand-new Prius, and much less than a Nissan Leaf (which I still may break down and buy next year)

    What I really need to do, which is very difficult where I live here in Fort Worth, TX, is find somebody with one of these nicer kits where I could test-drive a vehicle already fitted with one. That would help be decide which one to get.
     
  5. SageBrush

    SageBrush Senior Member

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    How is the PICC working out, Andrew ?
     
  6. linuxpenguin

    linuxpenguin Active Member

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    @Adric,

    Not bad at all--good price and looks like a good car =). I think both Hymotion and PICC have installers somewhere around your location but I can't be sure. I'm afraid I don't know if Plugin Supply has an installer around you. You might try contacting the various conversion companies to see if you can arrange a test drive with a local installer?...

    @Sage,

    Personally I really like the PICC system because it allows me to drive the car like a normal gas car and still get well over 100 MPG on trips under 25 miles--with the option of longer range modes for long trips and such. All I have to do is drive (and remember to plug the car in), everything else is automatic and seamless.

    I certainly can't say the system is for everyone given the cost but I've been very happy with it as it's done exactly what it's suppose to thus far. I just plug the car in every night and it takes care of the rest.

    Andrew
     
  7. adric22

    adric22 Ev and Hybrid Enthusiast

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    Plugin Supply has one on the other side of Dallas which is about 40 miles from me, so that isn't too bad. PICC and Hymotion do not have any installers anywhere near Texas, last time I checked. Enginer, obviously, I can install myself.
     
  8. linuxpenguin

    linuxpenguin Active Member

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    Hmmm, I was pretty sure that PICC at least had something / someone out in that area. I guess you can try calling them and see what they recommend. I don't think they'd let you install it yourself for warranty / liability reasons but they may send someone out to you to assist in the installation.

    Andrew
     
  9. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    You are wording it wrong, tell them "For the same reason a dog licks it's -----" Exact same message, but they are less likely to continue questioning you.
     
  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    with any alternative power product, naive people assume your going to make your money back and then some. they are all naysayers who think we just have to continue down the fossil fuel path. you think ford and edison and einstein didn't get the same questions? why did we go to the moon? a million reasons and no reason at all.naysayers, where would we be without them?:cool:
     
  11. Flaninacupboard

    Flaninacupboard Senior Member

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    At least i don't have that problem, at $7 a gallon I KNOW a PHEV will save me money.
     
  12. lunabelgium

    lunabelgium Member

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    Don't do it. It's your choice and every one has to accept it.
     
  13. silentak1

    silentak1 Since 2005

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    Ask them to justify their SUV purchase. You win, 99.99999999% of the time.
     
  14. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

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    You don't have to be the recipient of the questions in these discussions. Ask them some questions that make them have to think. Examples:

    1. I'm getting ready for $5/gallon gas. How much does gas have to cost to get you thinking differently? (They will not be ready for that.)

    2. Because I cannot buy an Electric Vehicle yet. (That will cause them to hesitate for a second, usually.)

    3. I'm doubling the life of the car, so that's a real spreadsheet changer.

    Be clever. You have so much ammunition.
     
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  15. sub3marathonman

    sub3marathonman Active Member

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    You know, I had overlooked this brilliant observation. I had done a spreadsheet cost comparison http://priuschat.com/forums/toyota-prius-phv-plug-in/83135-anticipated-price-2012-phv-prius-8.html and found that the price of gasoline was really the only factor concerning payback. It would have to get to around $4 or $5 for a reasonable payback period.

    BUT, if you can make a 10-year car last into a 20-year car, that really does swing the spreadsheet. Of course, the savings payback wouldn't start kicking in until after 10 years of use, at which time you'd be buying a new battery instead of a new car.

    As an aside, the best transportation value has been the 1985 Honda Rebel I bought back in 1986. I went 90K miles, and really saved the price of a car, and that gets added to the very low maintenance cost, didn't have to have expensive insurance for a low-priced motorcycle, and of course 70 mpg fuel usage. (The downside of course would be rain, snow, sleet, ice and COLD if you're up north.)
     
  16. Chuck.

    Chuck. Former Honda Enzyte Driver

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    Anyone find it strange that gearheads are not questioned if they saved enough time to justify their speed mods?
     
  17. kenmce

    kenmce High Voltage Member

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    Tell them you're doing it because you're serious about your patriotism and you decided that those little yellow magnets weren't enough any more. :usa2: If they continue, you can add that you can afford it, and you think your country is worth spending money on.
     
  18. LeadingEdgeBoomer

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    Many people are still ignorant about the nature of a stock Prius. I was semi-bragging about my mileage on a trip to Denver, and my sister-in-law asked how much my electrical bill had gone up.

    I imagine it would be impossible to explain a factory PHEV, and an aftermarket one would be just impossible.
     
  19. FL_Prius_Driver

    FL_Prius_Driver Senior Member

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    You're one of the lucky ones. After replacing the Camry with a 2010 Prius, the wife was asked by her close friend why she did not worry about the risk of death from "those cars". You can't explain the sanity, she can't explain the insanity.
     
  20. adric22

    adric22 Ev and Hybrid Enthusiast

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    Well for me, I just look at it in a very simplistic way:

    GAS=EVIL

    So, I want to pump as little evil into my car as possible, and I want to buy as little evil as possible. I'd love to see a comic designed with a guy standing at a gas station offering EVIL at $4 per gallon, and he can choose between "Regular Evil," or "Mid-Grade Evil," or "Premium Evil"

    Also the pump could ask him if he'd like an "EVIL WASH" to wash the feeling of evil away when he drives off.

    So the PHEV is not a cure for evil, but it is a way to control it until the real cure arrives (all electric, affordable vehicles)
     
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