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Milan has Insight

On the streets of Milan in Italy, hybrid cars, such as the Honda Insight and the Toyota Prius are becoming common sights.

The effects of ever rising fuel costs coupled with the introduction of the Ecopass pollution charging system certainly seem to have convinced more than a few of Milan’s motorists to go for a means of transport which is perhaps a little kinder to our environment.

It is not just Milan’s private motorists who are going for hybrids and thus going green.  Then there is green luxury too.

Milan’s Green Taxis

Owing to some promotion on the part of Toyota back in 2007, quite a number of Milan’s taxi drivers now drive Prius’ (What is the plural of Prius?).  On at least a couple of occasions I’ve ended up in one.

Honda Insight
The Honda Insight Hybrid Car

Whether Milan’s private motorists have genuinely become more ‘environmentally friendly’ is probably open to question.  What is more likely that Milan’s financially astute population is ‘going green’ because it makes economic sense, and being green is terribly fashionable too.

Still, if people save money while being gentler on the environment, this is probably no bad thing.

If you read on though, you will discover that the canny Milanese seem to have cottoned on to the fact that you can be trendy, save the environment, and even save some cash.

Prius Hybrids Hold Their Values

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While hybrids such as the Toyota Prius may cost more than an equivalent non-hybrid car, Italians tend to keep their cars for ten years or so, and these green Toyota’s do not depreciate as fast as non-green cars either.  Well, this seems to be the case from what I read on the Kelley Blue Book web site, and elsewhere.

Lexus Hybrid SUVs Green Luxury

Those like the idea of being green, and who don’t need to worry about depreciation, can nowadays one waft along in the lap of luxury, whilst at the same time being marginally more environmentally friendly, in a cossetted, padded leather, kind of way.  Yes, Lexus RX luxury hybrid SUVs can also be seen on the green streets of Milan.  Lexus also happens to be a Toyota brand.

Toyota Prius
The Toyota Prius Hybrid Car

The odd thing is that on the basis of their tax declarations, most Italians who own luxury cars, or even less than Lexus expensive Toyota Prius’, should not be able to afford them!

There was a lovely article; which reminded me of articles in The Economist in style; in Italy’s Repubblica paper on this subject last week (I shall never forget a wonderful article in the Economist years ago which proved that smokers save society money.).

What the heck.  If a little tax evasion helps people do their bit for saving the environment, than how can not paying taxes be so bad? 😉

La Repubblica, 20 January 2010: Auto di lusso e redditi
 Qualcosa non quadra…– Luxury Cars and Incomes -Something does not Add Up…

See Wikipedia for more information on the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight hybrid cars, and on the Lexus RX luxury SUV hybrid.

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