I’m looking for a new car and was thinking about getting a plug-in hybrid. They’re basically unavailable these days, at least in my area, and the ones on for example, Carvana, are tremendously overpriced.
At some point, I’m better off getting a regular car and giving the excess cash I would have spent to offset my carbon usage. For example, if a hybrid costs $100 million and the non-hybrid version cost $35k, I would be better off getting the normal car and spending $99,965,000 buying a big chunk of the Amazon rain forest and setting it aside or something.
In reality, I saw a used Toyota Rav-4 Prime (plug in hybrid) for $65k, which is probably around $30k more than a regular one. How much of that $30k difference would I have to spend in order to offset the extra damage from a non-plug-in car? And, how should I spend it?
More information: I live in NJ, so my power generation isn’t especially clean (probably coal or gas).
I’m happy to make simplifying assumptions, since I’m only looking for rough estimates:
Drive 12k miles per year, half of which would be all electric
Assume regular mileage is 35 mpg, electric equivalent in terms of carbon usage is 100 mpg
Keep the car for 10 years
Difference between plug in and regular is $30k, $65k vs. $35k
Leave aside carbon used in creating the two cars, environmental damage from the batteries, gas savings. I’m just interested in offsetting my excess carbon used by getting the regular vs. the plug-in.
How much do I need to set aside? And, what’s the most efficient way to spend $10k-$30k to offset my carbon usage?