Help! What kind of car should I buy?

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Car manufacturers, take a good look at me - I am your typical car buyer.

Actually, no, I am your dream car buyer. Trust me, you want me to buy your car. I am a trendy woman, aged 28 to 40, with a decent job, who likes to buy things. And I also like to talk to other people about the things I buy. I am currently in the market for a car that looks sleek, drives well and, as an added bonus, isn’t that bad for the environment. I have a place to park my car, ready and waiting for its new tenant.

Now what? It’s should be pretty simple, right? I think my list of criteria basically matches everyone else’s list, too. Ideally, I want to drive a car that looks good, feels smooth on the road, makes me feel safe and does as little damage to the environment as possible. Too good to be true? It really shouldn’t be.

The Geneva Motor Show this week only serves as a reminder of the overwhelming list of options out there that claim to be able to fulfill all of my car needs (or at least someday soon!). There’s electric, hybrid, fuel cell, petrol, natural gas, diesel, oh, and your plain-old, gasoline-powered car, just to name a few.

But the barrage of information available out there is self-serving and, frankly, noisy. For every positive story about green cars, there is an equally negative one. How far can these cars go? Can the infrastructure sustain my driving lifestyle? Will the car look awkward and unappealing? Are these cars safe? And why is it so expensive to do right by the environment? There are still too many important, unanswered questions.

To be honest with you, after reading the many negative articles and blogs about electric cars, I am tempted to stay away from all of it, at least for now. After all, where will I charge it? If I take the car on a long ski trip, or biking trip, will I have to worry about how far I can go until I am stranded on the side of the highway? And most importantly, will I look cool? With the slew of new, more fuel-efficient cars available on the market, the argument for greener cars seems to be less effective. Not to mention the cost of maintaining green cars, which many pro-green car articles conveniently leave out.

But then there is the other argument, that the high up-front cost of a green car will pay off in the long run, when you no longer have to worry about the price of standard fuel. Not to mention proposed tax rebates for drivers of these environmentally-friendly vehicles. And of course, if I lived in Estonia, I wouldn’t have to worry about a lack of charging stations (thanks in part to ABB).

I am not trying to pick a side here. I really want to do right by the air we breathe. But green-car manufacturers need to know that I am confused, and my questions remain unanswered.  I remain unconvinced, and will be until an auto maker comes out with a green car that wows me, satisfies the basic needs of your average consumer (read: me!) and doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.

So you know what? I think I’ll let the dust settle for now, and wait until you’ve all sorted it out. Until then, I think I’ll stick to tried and true, thank you very much.

Related posts:

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Why transit planners need to lead the electric car charge


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About the author

Ilona Braverman

I am the Newsroom Manager with the corporate communications team. Prior to moving to Zurich, I spent over a decade writing, producing, marketing and production coordinating for Fox News in New York City. When I am not working, or enjoying all of the beautiful cities around me, I am busy dancing, cooking or probably making everyone around me howl with laughter.
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