Tesla vs Toyota SUV

I like to read Seeking Alpha. These folks put together articles that speak to me and my thought process. I don’t always agree with their conclusions, but I do like the logic they follow. Like all people, to be fair, they sometimes exclude facts I would not, and vice versa.

I stumbled on this article from November 2018 talking about the 2019 Toyota SUV versus the Tesla Model 3. This article speaks to me since I own a Honda SUV that gets about 28MPG highway. I drive less than the average 1,000 miles a month; about 750. In my case, my average is skewed a bit since most of my driving is long family trips to see family in other states or for hiking and such. My day to day drive is only a few miles.

I did a post talking about my test drive of my friend’s Tesla Model 3. I do love that car and want one, but it’s more of a luxury car than my wife and I want to buy. The Toyota SUV in the Seeking Alpha article is a small one; a RAV4. I have a mid size SUV with a V6 so naturally mine by comparison will get less mileage.

Anyway, a lot of people buy electric cars because they use less fossil fuels. They do. That is a good thing. The truth is, though, ideally, as a lot of other blogger talk about, you are better off skipping a car all together whenever you can do it. Cars, even Teslas use a lot of energy to make them. Steel, plastic, and glass are all made in energy intensive processes. Walking or using a bike is better than driving. Driving an electric car is better than a traditional car, but still about 2/3 of US electricity comes from fossil fuels. Of course, if you live in a state where you can buy your electricity from any supplier you want then you can get 100% of yours from renewables. I have been doing that for more than 15 years myself. Most Northeast states allow it. My point here is that you have options. I love the fact that one person on my street can buy 100% renewable energy, and the next can buy less. CT for instance requires 25% minimum, and other states have their own mandates. For me, I am a fan of nuclear and I dislike solar or wind, but that is another story for another post.

Still, the author’s point is valid. The Toyota SUV will cost you $800 more a year to use over the Tesla. To me, I see this as a win win. SUVs are a necessity for many people in many places. The Toyota in question has a lower MSRP than they Tesla, but that is not surprising when you consider that the Tesla Model 3 is for the Mercedes crowd, and the RAV4 is for a wider audience. The Chevy Bolt would be a better comparison in terms of cost.

Now to be fair, the Tesla is awesome, as I said in my other post. Also, this article is more click bait, and I guess I fell for it. The Chevy Bolt or the Nissan Leaf is a much better comparison. He also calls the Tesla an eco-box, which it is not. The Leaf, I am told, is more of an eco-box.

His other main point is that you can do more with the SUV than the Tesla. Well, that argument could be made about any sedan, and I think it’s a large part of the reason why Americans are not buying sedans any more, and why US car manufacturers are focusing more on SUVs. I can not fit my large telescope in my wife’s Sedan or the RAV4. I need the larger, mid size, SUV that I own to fit it.

Anyway, as always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

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5 Comments

    1. Thank you. My approach is to try to consider all parts, the whole life cycle.

      On January 31, a Italian inventor working in the US will be demonstrating a cold fusion device allegedly in operation at an American factory with patents in the G-8 nations and a few others to protect it. I will be writing up a report on this if it proves out. Admittedly, I do not expect it will. I am still unconvinced of Black Light Power’s claims.

      My point in all of that is that there are no silver bullets, not hot fusion, (potential cold fusion), solar or hydro. Its all a case of least bad, which is why a bike is the best option if it can be found.

      Still, I do believe hot fusion will be a commercially viable option. Tri Alpha Energy seems to think that they will have a proven test reactor in less than 2 years, and commercial in 5.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. You can’t pull a boat or an off road vehicle on a trailer behind a Tesla for any practical distance, but I can behind my Toyota 4Runner. That eliminates a Tesla from consideration for me. Teslas are city dweller toys, totally useless for rural drivers.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t think anyone believes otherwise. The article is a fairly poor comparison.

      The last few days my SUV was required for me to travel through the snow and ice storms that his my area. My wife’s sedan, was useless. So would be a Tesla. But for her commute to work, it would be a fine, if over priced option.

      Like

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