2011 Chevrolet Volt
That's a mighty leap, from a hybrid/electric/series/EV/whatevermajig to an Italian supercar, you say? You're right, it is. But that's how our minds work--and here's why: the Ferrari would be cheaper (or at least similarly priced) to buy and it would, in the long run, be greener for the environment.
Surely, now, I'm pulling your leg. Except I'm not. The average commuter in the U.S. drives something north of 15,000 miles per year. The Volt, designed as the ultimate green commuter, will easily reach that figure in most owners' homes. Ferraris, on the other hand, are fine specimens not to be measured in the thousands of miles, but savored, all too briefly, in the timeless expanses of asphalt where they thrive. The result? Ferrari owners drive less than 5,000 miles per year, with many under 3,000 miles.
2009 Ferrari California
So lets get down to the numbers. At 15,000 miles per year at an EPA-rated 60 mpg combined average, the Volt will drink somewhere around 250 gallons of dinosaur juice per year, or some mixture of gasoline plus electricity. The Ferrari, assuming a new California, is rated at 15 mpg combined by the EPA. If driven 3,500 miles, it will consume just 233 gallons of gasoline. That's a savings of 17 gallons, or about over 41 kilograms (90 pounds) of carbon dioxide emissions.
In other words, if you want to do the environment a favor, spend your luxury dollars on pampered Ferraris, not mass-market "green" commuter cars.
This exercise in ludicrous reasoning and strained interpretations brought to you by Tuesday afternoons, caffeinated sodas, and jerky knees.