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Former Member
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Like many Americans, I depend fairly heavily on my car. Recently I started searching for the next car in my life--unfortunately, I have had quite a difficult time finding the perfect car--but the automotive industry is getting closer and closer.

When I first set out I had two ideas: electric or diesel. I am not interested in a hybrid given the tremendous resources and environmental costs associated with the batteries in today's hybrids--they are a great step in the right direction, but I see them as an interim step. The benefits of an electric car are that you can essentially have a zero emission driving lifestyle. Where I live, I have the option of buying renewable energy--if I were to charge my car at home, then I would know my car is being powered by the wind (not quite as cool as a sailcar, but pretty close). Diesel, on the other hand, has the benefit of much greater gas mileage compared to a gasoline powered car, has much fewer emissions associated with the manufacturing of the fuel itself, and gives the car owner the option of biodiesel.

What I found was a fairly small selection of electric cars from which to choose. Nissan makes the Leaf, the first mass produced electric car with a range of ~100 miles--not quite the replacement I was looking to find as it would still require a second car. Chevy makes the Volt, a hybrid electric car with a back up gasoline engine that greatly extends the 25 mile electric motor range to several hundred miles--not really an option for me who needs a range of greater than 25 miles. Rounding out the mainstream electric cars is Tesla--these are not cars for the everyman with prices north of $100k for the single car they have in the market.

The diesel selection is also somewhat limited. The best option out there for fuel efficiency is the Volkswagen Jetta TDI--which tops the US EPA fuel efficiency charts.  A few other sedans are out there from BMW and Mercedes, but I really want something with all wheel drive--which means an SUV here in the US. There are a few SUVs out there that are diesel and all wheel drive, but the fuel efficiency is paltry. Europe actually has a greater selection of diesel cars overall and actually has all wheel drive diesel options that nearly fit the bill, at least for me.

So, I still have not found exactly what I seek, either an electric car with a decent range (and not a 10 month wait list) or a diesel all wheel drive car. The search continues.

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