Tag Archives: car

Alternative life style

Today I met a new grad and I am surprised by her alternative life style. No, she is not homosexual. She is not planning to buy a car! It is not that she cannot afford a car. She choose not to buy a car. She prefer cycle to work and take public transit to go around in the city. One reason she move to Vancouver is because she think it is a very environmentally friendly city and people loves taking public transportation.

Remember when we start working, the first major purchase is a car. Automobile means freedom. You can go anywhere you want whenever you want. Your life is no longer bounded by the under service, very inconvenient public transit system. My friends, who are from my generation, also puzzled about the new grad’s choice. We just couldn’t understand how can someone live without a car. Maybe the newer generation is brain washed by extreme environmentalist. They grew up with the cars are evil misconception. The automobile companies better do something to save their future market. This new grad maybe just an isolated incident, but if the younger generation start ditching theirs cars and riding buses, the automobile industry would be in big trouble.

We tried to convince the new grad the necessity of having a car. We asked how could she come to work in Winter when it rains or snows. She said she used to bike to school in Ottawa even in Winter. We are speechless. I tried to scare her by telling her news stories of robberies and murders close to Skytrain stations after dark, but it seems she is very confident that won’t happen to her. Then I asked her what about moving furniture or having out of town weekend trips. She said she can ask help from friends and would only go to trips with friends anyways. Ah! I guess that’s the difference between a guy and a girl. A girl can afford not having a car, because there are always someone willing to drive her around.

Drive slow, save gas, save $$

The gas price is reaching record high of $1.50 per liter this summer.  The government is making it even worse by introducing a 2 cents carbon tax on gas.  Every time I fill up my car, I feel like there is a vacuum cleaner sucking dry my wallet.  Taking the public transport is not an option, since my time cost is still much higher than the cost of gas needed to drive to work.  However there is a way to save at least 10% of fuel expensive.  It is changing your driving habit.

The idea is very simple.  Drive slow, save gas.  If you drive fast, you have to brake a lot for traffic lights, making turns or exiting the highway.  When you accelerate the car, you build up momentum.  When you slow down, the momentum decrease.  The gas spent on accelerating the car is wasted if the momentum is not used to move the car forward.  You don’t want to waste any gas on the brake.  I started practicing the new driving habit almost 2 weeks and it really works.  My gas mileage went up from 11.7L / 100km to 10.2 / 100km.  I can save at least $20 per month simply by driving slowly.  Although I say to drive slower, the time difference is insufficient.  The lost of average speed is not noticeable.  When you drive fast and brake fast, you just spend more time waiting in front of the traffic light.