On Hybrids & Hope

On our drive home from Sydney last night, we stopped again at the free charging station in the Carpark of an RSL Club (where we were able to enjoy an hearty meal while the car refilled). When we emerged and unplugged our vehicle, a hybrid Volvo XC90 had just arrived on the other side to charge. As is the wont of people with an obvious thing in common, we had a little chat.

The woman who was driving the Volvo said they only got it in December and are pleased with the efficiency. Around Sydney, the massive SUV (with a battery range of around 60kms) is more fuel efficient than her little hatchback. She said they used to have a Toyota Prado but were sick of the gas guzzling (her words), despite loving other attributes of the car. She said that Toyota is bringing out a hybrid Prado in seven years and they are hanging out for that.

SEVEN YEARS!! I couldn’t believe it. Toyota is so far behind and yet their infamous Prius was one of the first hybrid cars ever.

Tonight I did a little searching to try and find out more about the Volvo. I don’t really know enough about it to guess how much they might have paid. The model seems to command prices of between $88-105,000. That is not a cheap car. I imagine that before the hybrid Prado hits the market the Tesla Cybertruck will be already on sale in Australia and possibly other more 4-wheel-drive friendly electric cars of which I’m not aware. I will be seriously shocked if Toyota’s plan is worth bringing to fruition in 2027. Even the current Tesla Model X wouldn’t be a bad fit for what that family was after (although it is another price level up).

I live in an unusual bubble where both my family and my in-laws talk about Climate Change, politics, Electric Cars, etc every single day. From talking to my friends, I recognize that I am not “the norm” but it still shocks me that people think a Toyota Prado will still be the only solution to their needs in seven years time. But I don’t blame the people. I blame our media and our politicians. Australia is its own bubble, controlled by the likes of Murdoch and Scotty from Marketing and the Corporations those big-shots are in cahoots with.

My best hope for this fire-ravaged country is that those big-shots get the bird. I hope the horror and smoke create a peaceful revolution where the future takes precedence over the bottom line. Where truth is a word with real meaning and that truth and transparency are expected and upheld in parliament and in the media.

I think there are different kinds of visionary power. Embodied in humans I see two: Elon Musk has a vision for a better future and ScoMo has a vision of his own bank account getting fatter.

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