Electric Cars Likely Won't Save You Money

Xinmosni

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I've said it before, electric cars won't work here where I live, a tiny island in the Pacific. There will be no mechanic or tech on the island to be able to repair even small problems in an electric car. 25 cents per kilowatt here is ludicrous, along with just hiked price for gasoline at $4.35 per gallon. I drive a 2007 3 cylinder 1 liter Toyota Passo with everything manual and mechanical except for the engine management and power windows for a daily and I have encountered zero problems. Modern cars from 2010 and newer are nearly unrepairable without some dumshiet dealer-only code access. Cars have become fugging appliances man...

If you're on a tiny island in the Pacific, why are you concerned with what car you drive? Sounds like you need to get a bicycle if the place is so small.
 
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Silentbob343

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as with all things i depends on your situation and circumstances. For a while leasing a nissan leaf for two years made perfect sense as the tax credit covered the cost of the lease. If my commute at the time fit in the range I would have done it without hesitation.
 

docmal

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While electric cars have a lot of benefits, cost probably isn't one of them. In an article on Phys, they go into the math of buying and owning a Nissan Leaf vs. a Honda Civic, and the results really aren't that shocking. While the Leaf costs almost half as much as the Civic in fuel, and slightly less in maintenance costs, once you factor initial cost, depreciation, and eventual battery replacement, not even tax credits or rebates can save them.

Not all that surprising for someone who has done the math. Batteries are expensive, charging stations installed at your home are expensive, and the upfront cost of the cars are expensive. While I think there will be a shift eventually from powering cars with recycled dinosaurs, I don't believe that battery powered electric is the future.

"We are still a car culture, and some of our personal identity is tied up in our cars," said David Friedman, director of cars for Consumers Union, the policy division of Consumer Reports.

You’re still powering an electric car with fossil fuel. The overwhelming majority of our power comes from coal.
 

bugleyman

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And yet you have yet to provide a single example of how I've been harmed by it. Instead, like most upper-middle-class-and-better Americans, I benefit from it.

Almost like one could benefit from something and yet also be harmed by it. Or like short term and long term consequences might differ.

Oh well, I'm sure you're right...it must be too complicated for me to understand. In any event, it must be nice to have your very own atmosphere. :rolleyes:
BTW, saying somethings "manifestly" false isn't a substitute for a logical argument, so my evaluation of what isn't your strong suit stands confirmed.

Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.
 
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bugleyman

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You’re still powering an electric car with fossil fuel. The overwhelming majority of our power comes from coal.

And power plans are considerably more efficient than internal combustion engines. Not sure I see your point.
 

bugleyman

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Ok, that's it for me for one night. Any more of this and I'll lose all faith in humanity. :inpain:
 

Imhotep

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Hydrogen is the future. Your beloved V8 will burn it just like regular gasoline and it will expel clean drinking water down the tail pipes. Some years ago BMW had a commercial with the big 750 ending with a pretty cool statement " BMW is ready when the world is ready".
Problem is extraction of hydrogen from water. It takes 50, 000 gallons of water to get a gallon of hydrogen even though its the most abandoned element in the univers.
 

MikeTrike

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I charge off of my 240V dryer port, I bought a $70 splitter... I could have splurged about $300 for an automatic switching splitter, that charges only if the dryer isn't running... However it's about six feet from the dryer, so we know if it's plugged in and charging... So basically f*** that for the time being...

Why's everybody gotta be fancy or doing this the hard way... It's basically an iCar, just plug the damn thing in. Depending on your habits, you can probably get away with the 110V outlet. i.e. You only have a short commute and back, or go grab groceries or other basic tasks... Electric is viable for a very significant number of people, and the tech is only going to improve.

I bought it because it's a FWD roller coaster off the line, I'm fairly certain I trip people out when they see me zip off up to 60... It's so much fun between 20-60mph, and mine is basically a piece of shit compared to the likes of a Model S/3/X... But I love it.

89b9d9c91703ed8e67ed23c46f51451d.jpg
 

pcgeekesq

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Hydrogen is the future. ... Problem is extraction of hydrogen from water. ...
No, that's only one problem. Hydrogen is a pain to store, is a pain to transport, burns with an invisible flame, and is a suffocation hazard.

The labs I used to work in had problems with leaked hydrogen accumulating up near the ceiling, and then someone would go up a ladder to work on something, get dizzy from lack of O2, and fall off the ladder. Back then, hydrogen sensors too prevent that were expensive. Maybe they are cheaper now.
 

username00

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No one buys electric cars to save money. To save money, you probably should buy a hybrid, not a full electric car. People buy electric cars so they don't have to burn gas with reduces our CO2 emission and NOx and SOx, etc.

Not buying any car and continuing to drive the car I already own saves me more money than any of these "solutions" here
 

MikeTrike

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Not buying any car and continuing to drive the car I already own saves me more money than any of these "solutions" here

^This

ProTip of the day: Drive almost any good econobox until it blows up if you wanna save money.
 

pcgeekesq

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... Truly, you have a dizzying intellect.

Still waiting for you to identify how pollution in China and India has harmed me. 'Cause it hasn't.
But nah, it's all just sarcasm, eye-rolling, and other hypocrisy from you-- no data, no logic.

There's a pretty good argument that electric cars just shift the pollution away from the rich people who
own electric cars and place that pollution burden on the poor people who live in the areas where the raw
materials (e.g. China) and electricity (e.g. downwind of a power plant) for the cars come from.
 

Gigus Fire

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Tax credits are not rebates. The $10k off group buy's web page no longer exists and I have no idea how many people had to buy in order for it to kick in. And 1 power company in 1 city in 1 state does not a discount make.
Tax credits are rebates. If you owe 10k or more in taxes, then the tax credit would give you that money back.

And i prefaced the example with, if you time it right with the right incentives.

If you can get a leaf for 15k, i'd still say that's better than most gas cars. At that price point even if you had to swap out the battery 10 years later, it's still a good deal and costs less than even comparable hybrids.

As for priuses, I'd heard about people modifying them to add more batteries and change it into a plug in. It may (i don't know much about it since i think the car itself looks like crap) be cheaper to make a frankenstein prius instead of swapping it out with an oem battery pack.
 

Archaea

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I don't really believe this. At certain points in time with the right incentives, you get this: https://cleantechnica.com/2016/12/15/get-new-nissan-leaf-low-11510-incentives-kansas/
less than 12k for a electric car? I'm supposed to believe there's even a gas alternative which can compare?
Batteries are expensive, but so is maintenance on a gas engine.
That wasn’t as good a deal as it lets on. 3 of my extended family evaluated the deal seriously, and individually. We all live in Kansas City and saw it when it the deal was live and available. All three of us passed on it. $12k wasn’t really an option. That was the base mode with the crappiest range and no frills. If you buy an electric car you want more than 114 miles per charge. At least I do. But that’s all you got on the base mode IIRC. And reviews online at the time said you might not even get that much if you needed AC of Heat while driving (think more like 90 miles range to be safe). Doing the math I was afraid it wouldn’t even take me to the KC airport in the winter or summer if I encountered any traffic because I live about 45 miles away from the airport. If you wanted the bigger battery (standard battery) it was like $5-6k more and still the base car with no frills. By the time you put some options on it that most people would want on a new car it wasn’t a deal at all. Like low $20k range.

Something like a Dodge Dart or Honda Civic beats it hands down on almost any particular characteristic for the money at that low $20k price point.
 
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rgMekanic

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Tax credits are rebates. If you owe 10k or more in taxes, then the tax credit would give you that money back.

One would argue if you make enough to have to pay 10k in taxes, you aren't in the market for a Leaf.

If you can get a leaf for 15k, i'd still say that's better than most gas cars. At that price point even if you had to swap out the battery 10 years later, it's still a good deal and costs less than even comparable hybrids.

https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?listingId=472751147

But why would you want heated and ventilated massaging seats, radar guided cruise control, night vision, the ability to watch satellite TV, reclining rear seats, and legendary build quality in your car when you could have an ugly commuter that can go 150 miles without needing to stop for 8 hours for only twice the money! Or the same "money" if you count tax rebates (that only bring it down to 22,500 BASE) and whatever else.
 

Nytegard

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When I bought my Hybrid, articles existed like this saying that they wouldn't make up for the cost. As other people have already stated, costs go down over time. Batteries at the time cost something like $8000+, and now they cost only a couple thousand. And stuff like gas goes up. Gas at the time was something like $1.50/gallon, whereas now it's $3/gallon. I'm sure the same will happen to electric cars too. They might be more expensive now, but what about the future?
 

Gigus Fire

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One would argue if you make enough to have to pay 10k in taxes, you aren't in the market for a Leaf.
Not exactly true. Many wealthier people would consider the cost savings over time. The good thing about having a decent income is that you can spend up front and save later down the line.
Someone who can afford a commuter car, combine that with a solar installation on their house, you might be able to get away with really reduced "fuel" charge in the form of electricity.
Lets say i can save 20$ a week from this combination (lazy estimation, it would probably be a lot more depending on the size of the solar installation).
After a year that would be 1040$ a year. After 10 years that would be 10k, almost the cost of the car itself.

You don't get wealthy by spending money, you get wealthy by making sound investments that pay over time. A normal gasoline car never has the opportunity to pay you back or get close to breaking even over the course if it's lifetime.

The idea that a car is something you show off is a silly notion. It's a transportation device. You typically spend most of the time in a car to go to work back and forth. The joy you would get out of someone being jealous that they see your car is extremely shallow and not worth it.
https://www.autotrader.com/cars-for-sale/vehicledetails.xhtml?listingId=472751147

But why would you want heated and ventilated massaging seats, radar guided cruise control, night vision, the ability to watch satellite TV, reclining rear seats, and legendary build quality in your car when you could have an ugly commuter that can go 150 miles without needing to stop for 8 hours for only twice the money! Or the same "money" if you count tax rebates (that only bring it down to 22,500 BASE) and whatever else.
A used 2007 mercedes that gets 16 city/24 highway. It's already 11 years old, that car is dead to me. Honestly older cars are a lot more trouble than they're worth. Almost 100k miles i would have a suspicion that there would be a lot of repairs and breakdowns in it's future.

Automobile transportation has lots of lifetime costs associated with it. The amount of money you *could* save with the right setup (plug in hybrid or electric) is staggeringly high.
 

rgMekanic

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Not exactly true. Many wealthier people would consider the cost savings over time. The good thing about having a decent income is that you can spend up front and save later down the line.
Someone who can afford a commuter car, combine that with a solar installation on their house, you might be able to get away with really reduced "fuel" charge in the form of electricity.
Lets say i can save 20$ a week from this combination (lazy estimation, it would probably be a lot more depending on the size of the solar installation).
After a year that would be 1040$ a year. After 10 years that would be 10k, almost the cost of the car itself.

You don't get wealthy by spending money, you get wealthy by making sound investments that pay over time. A normal gasoline car never has the opportunity to pay you back or get close to breaking even over the course if it's lifetime.

I like that you left out the cost of the solar installation. And you need to lose the notion that you can get a leaf for $15k

The idea that a car is something you show off is a silly notion. It's a transportation device. You typically spend most of the time in a car to go to work back and forth. The joy you would get out of someone being jealous that they see your car is extremely shallow and not worth it.

Who gives a shit about showing off? Some people enjoy cars and driving. Most of you internet time is spent on websites, buy a chromebook.

A used 2007 mercedes that gets 16 city/24 highway. It's already 11 years old, that car is dead to me. Honestly older cars are a lot more trouble than they're worth. Almost 100k miles i would have a suspicion that there would be a lot of repairs and breakdowns in it's future.

Automobile transportation has lots of lifetime costs associated with it. The amount of money you *could* save with the right setup (plug in hybrid or electric) is staggeringly high.

Bought my truck brand new in 1999. Still drive it every day. Your post screams of someone who has either not taken care of their cars, or who has never owned an older vehicle.
 

viper1152012

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I dunno about the math. I think people are basing this "cost" on particular models of cars and omitting the rest.

My dad has a Chevy Volt and he has it in charging only mode "what ever they call it" so since the city he lives in is basically flat he runs on battery unless it needs charged.
I believe it goes down to 15% then kicks in automatically.

Typically it doesn't unless he goes to the coast.

He has an extension cord running from a external outlet to the driveway where he charges it.

It goes 50 miles or so and then charges itself. But he usually drives 30 miles a day.... So theres that.

He saves a lot of money on gas and loves the car.
 

Gigus Fire

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I like that you left out the cost of the solar installation. And you need to lose the notion that you can get a leaf for $15k



Who gives a shit about showing off? Some people enjoy cars and driving. Most of you internet time is spent on websites, buy a chromebook.



Bought my truck brand new in 1999. Still drive it every day. Your post screams of someone who has either not taken care of their cars, or who has never owned an older vehicle.
The cost of a solar installation is probably around 25-40k before incentives. After incentives, probably 17-20k. If it works, it should pay for itself in 8 years in the worst case scenario, probably sooner. Then every year after that it should save 1.5k-3k in utility bills.
I left it out because it should be able to power your house and utilizing the left over energy, fill up your car. Again, a wealthier person thing.

Again, it has to be the right time with the right incentives. If another good deal came out on a fully electric car, i might consider it.

Actually i do a lot of development in my spare time and play a ton of games. If you enjoy driving, then you'll enjoy driving electric and gas and whatever cars. What it looks like and how it handles has no bearing to enjoying driving.

My post is because of my first car, a used mazda 626 with 65k miles. Sunroof leaked, radiator leaked, wobbled at high speed, intake got clogged and car wouldn't start. Speedometer would bounce around, transmission started to go (automatic that was jerking between 1st and 2nd gear), ate fuel like a sports car, a/c ran out of coolant. These problems (and more) happened between 65-95k miles in the course of about 3 years. Assuming i have no experienced with used cars is kind of silly. Every time i took it to the mechanic and got it repaired. The costs seriously add up.

There's a lot of costs associated with used cars where as if you get a new one, you've got a lot less of a chance of major repairs in the first 3-5 years.
 

otherweeb

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That's no better of an argument than "China's pollution doesn't bother me." Plus, it still doesn't deal with the disposal of the battery. I really don't care all that much as I drive around in a 4Runner, but I'm pointing out that PZEV's are really the short term answer to the environmental issues.

I am not claiming "China's pollution doesn't bother me." 'cuz that's bull.

Ever hear the comment in science class 'we breathe the same air as Caesar'. We breathe China's pollution all the time. It's just so dilute we don't notice. And addressing the disposal is irrelevant. The batteries will just exist in other forms, phone batteries, laptop batteries, tool batteries, ad infinatum but not car batteries.
 
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nutzo

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The cost of a solar installation is probably around 25-40k before incentives. After incentives, probably 17-20k. If it works, it should pay for itself in 8 years in the worst case scenario, probably sooner. Then every year after that it should save 1.5k-3k in utility bills.

Even with the high electrical rates here in Southern California, I only spend about 1.5k per year for my electricity.
I went for more insulation in the house, double pane windows, florescence bulbs (and now LED's), new heating/central air, etc.
Biggest help was replacing the 30 year old central air (needed to anyways as it was wearing out). The new unit only uses half the power during the summer compared to the old unit.


My post is because of my first car, a used mazda 626 with 65k miles. Sunroof leaked, radiator leaked, wobbled at high speed, intake got clogged and car wouldn't start. Speedometer would bounce around, transmission started to go (automatic that was jerking between 1st and 2nd gear), ate fuel like a sports car, a/c ran out of coolant. These problems (and more) happened between 65-95k miles in the course of about 3 years. Assuming i have no experienced with used cars is kind of silly. Every time i took it to the mechanic and got it repaired. The costs seriously add up.

There's a lot of costs associated with used cars where as if you get a new one, you've got a lot less of a chance of major repairs in the first 3-5 years.

I buy new and keep them for 10+ years, that way I know that they have been maintained.
Since I started limiting myself to only buying cars with high reliability ratings, I've had no problems that needed a mechanic.
Just a few minor things like replacing a relay or a light bulb that I can do myself.
People at work ask if I know a good mechanic, and I have to say no, because I haven't needed one. (I don't count oil and tire changes)
 

pcgeekesq

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You don't get wealthy by spending money, you get wealthy by making sound investments that pay over time.
LOL. No, not always.
You could be a sexually-molesting TV anchorman and pull down $15 million a year, no investments required.
Or be a Philadelphia Eagle.
Or a Kardashian (ugh).
Or just have rich parents.
 

pcgeekesq

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Good news on climate change, BTW: the sun is cooling off: Reduced energy from the sun might occur by mid-century,https://phys.org/news/2018-02-energy-sun-mid-centurynow-scientists.html
https://phys.org/news/2018-02-energy-sun-mid-centurynow-scientists.html

The cooldown would be the result of what scientists call a grand minimum, a periodic event during which the sun's magnetism diminishes, sunspots form infrequently, and less ultraviolet radiation makes it to the surface of the planet. ... The cooling is not uniform. While areas of Europe chilled during the Maunder Minimum, other areas such as Alaska and southern Greenland warmed correspondingly.​
 

ikevi

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It all depends... I have a friend that leases a leaf for less than 200 a month. He charges it at work for free. (Gets the good parking spaces too because of it...)

Sure you don't have it for resale, but you also don't have to worry about replacing the battery.

(That said I own a Mx-5 and enjoy my car much more than his ;-)
 

travisty

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Oh another story that misses the key point: Batteries are an exponential technology. Their doubling time is about 4 to 5 years. Over that time period the cost will half for the same density. Since a good chunk of the sticker price is based off the battery that'll reduce the cost. In five years time people will be able to buy a 200 mile EV for ~20k base cost w/o credits.

Then again most people will no longer be buying new cars at that point so it's a moot point.




This last one talks about pay-per-mile ~14:50, the entire talk is still good to watch if you have time =)
 
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krotch

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You’re still powering an electric car with fossil fuel. The overwhelming majority of our power comes from coal.

Actually majority of our power is from natural gas with coal trailing behind by a few percent in 2016. The trend has been natural gas usage has gone up, while coal has gone down. Although, renewable power generation has increased a lot in 2017. No figures for it yet.

https://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.php?id=427&t=3
 

krotch

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Bought my truck brand new in 1999. Still drive it every day. Your post screams of someone who has either not taken care of their cars, or who has never owned an older vehicle.

That or European luxury cars. Little minor things break (like bushing, wheel bearing, or something), but they charge hefty prices at the dealer to get it fixed.
 

lilbabycat

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LOL. No, not always.
You could be a sexually-molesting TV anchorman and pull down $15 million a year, no investments required.
Or be a Philadelphia Eagle.
Or a Kardashian (ugh).
Or just have rich parents.

The TV anchorman (molester or not) invested his time in making connections and being charismatic on the tv screen
The NFL player invested in himself/his youth instead of enjoying it like most normal kids
The kardashian / rich person was already rich, so it wasn't a "getting" rich, their "sound" investment was being a gold digger, also refusing to understand what the concept of "shame" is

But I'm sure you can think of more anecdotes to ignore the core concept put out.
 

kju1

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While electric cars have a lot of benefits, cost probably isn't one of them. In an article on Phys, they go into the math of buying and owning a Nissan Leaf vs. a Honda Civic, and the results really aren't that shocking. While the Leaf costs almost half as much as the Civic in fuel, and slightly less in maintenance costs, once you factor initial cost, depreciation, and eventual battery replacement, not even tax credits or rebates can save them.

Not all that surprising for someone who has done the math. Batteries are expensive, charging stations installed at your home are expensive, and the upfront cost of the cars are expensive. While I think there will be a shift eventually from powering cars with recycled dinosaurs, I don't believe that battery powered electric is the future.

"We are still a car culture, and some of our personal identity is tied up in our cars," said David Friedman, director of cars for Consumers Union, the policy division of Consumer Reports.

1) Slightly less maintenance? No oil changes, no transmission maintenance, no filters, no cooling system to flush, less or no brake replacements (depending on model of electric car - Teslas are seeing over 100k miles on one set). Thats more than slightly less.
2) The depreciation doesnt fit in line with what I am seeing....

2012 Nissan Leaf looks like it averages 7-9k. https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/inven...=true&modelChanged=false&filtersModified=true

Which looks to be about the same as the 2012 honda civic: https://www.cargurus.com/Cars/inven...=true&modelChanged=false&filtersModified=true

They also only based the battery on manufacturers warranty not the real world numbers which are showing good performance beyond battery warranty. Since when did you stop using your car or do maintenance at EXACTLY when the manufacturer said. For example....when did you change your timing belt?

This article is very lite on facts and is just more FUD.
 

Gigus Fire

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Even with the high electrical rates here in Southern California, I only spend about 1.5k per year for my electricity.
I went for more insulation in the house, double pane windows, florescence bulbs (and now LED's), new heating/central air, etc.
Biggest help was replacing the 30 year old central air (needed to anyways as it was wearing out). The new unit only uses half the power during the summer compared to the old unit.
Efficiency is great when it comes to utility expenses. However the rate of return on these things is slow. Maybe you cut your heating and cooling expenses by half at best, but it would probably take decades for new windows/insulation/new furnace/new a/c to pay for itself in savings. Windows alone are really expensive depending on the size of your house and the number of them. I figure 500$ or more for good windows each. However depending on the size of your roof, the direction your house faces, your net metering laws and the amount being supplied by the state, solar can have a ROI of 3-10 years which still makes it one of the best investments over time.
I buy new and keep them for 10+ years, that way I know that they have been maintained.
Since I started limiting myself to only buying cars with high reliability ratings, I've had no problems that needed a mechanic.
Just a few minor things like replacing a relay or a light bulb that I can do myself.
People at work ask if I know a good mechanic, and I have to say no, because I haven't needed one. (I don't count oil and tire changes)
That's exactly what i do as well. First 10 years with little maintenance they will last without any major problems. Once they start getting to 100k in miles +, they need a lot of repairs and expensive maintenance.
Why i responded to icpiper that way was because of my past experience with a mid/end of life used car. Lots of potential hidden problems with them.
LOL. No, not always.
You could be a sexually-molesting TV anchorman and pull down $15 million a year, no investments required.
Or be a Philadelphia Eagle.
Or a Kardashian (ugh).
Or just have rich parents.
Being born into wealth or winning the celebrity lottery (professional sports players for example) is kind of a cheat method. For those that work normal jobs, having a million bucks in the bank is basically a dream (minus 401k retirement savings). But what you can do to get wealthy is find ways to stretch your money and save as much as possible. A lot of times, it's investing in long term returns (buying a house is better than renting, not having a CC debt, lowering utility bills, cutting down on extraneous spending, etc) and saving as much as possible and making sound investments. Even those people who are sports players and whatnot who make millions can't figure out how to do this and end up poor many times after their sports career is over.
 

pcgeekesq

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... But I'm sure you can think of more anecdotes to ignore the core concept put out.
The "core concept" I was refuting was that rich people aren't spendthrifts (because they had to invest to get rich).
This is demonstrably untrue. Diamond-studded iPhones, supercars, mega-mansions, private jets, Tesla roadsters: all common examples of rich people spending money without economic justification.
 

motomonkey

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People always say this, but I disagree because the definition of what product is best or worse depends on the person buying the product.

Beta had high licensing fees which made the product more expensive. It also had shorter tapes limiting recoding time.
A lower price & a longer recording time where more important to most people than the slightly better picture quality.

We could have the same argument about which car is better, a Ferrari or a Honda. Guess which one most people pick as a better choice for them?

That's a ridiculous comparison.

Betamax and VHS were comparable in performance, it was mainly a marketing war, a Ferrari is in no way comparable in price, performance or build quality. The target market has zero overlap.

wonder what the used car market is like for all electric vehicles? "I have this used Prius, battery is down to 1% expected life, I'll pay you $50 to haul It away"
 
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