This is an extremely interesting subject I think: but the best solutions may not be the same in different parts of the world. For example, looking at Bangkok versus Trondheim, is vastly two extremes in each end of the scale. The thing is, I’m continously being torn between old values, future dreams and the economical reality.
To be honest, I have for some time now been looking into replacing my beloved 2009-model Toyota Hilux (popularly known as the “Thailux"), but up to now, I have not been able to decide which way to go. Looking at the financial side of it, I would love having the possibility of being free of the car and it’s costs. Especially this week, as I need to send my car to a 150.000km service and to fix an expensive leaking powertrain on the forward wheels (not sure what is the correct English terminology). But, working outside of the town with very limited bus-service at the correct times, it’s not going to work.
The options I have been looking into so far have been an UTV (sort of an ATV with a heated cabin), a moped, an electric bike, and in the totally other end of the scale, both a second hand Jaguar, Volvo and BMW.
I do feel that with the current government’s ever-changing political stands on car-traffic, that it would be as politically incorrect buying a car, as it would be buying a fur-coat in the 80’s and 90’s. The government is using motorists as a milking cow for road taxes, toll-ways and annual roadtaxes. It’s become really bad in Trondheim - and they are continously promising us that they are thinking hard about whatever new way they can put more taxes on the motorists. Election promises of no more tollways was - and will forever be -, as usual, nothing but a “Soria Moria” and empty promises and lies. Sadly, I have no confidence in any political party or politician any longer.
Not everybody can travel by bus to their destinations - especially when they at the same time, reduce bus-schedules, remove bus stops, and spend astronimical investments on a super-bus system that is doomed from the beginning. I work at odd hours, and far outside of the town. With 10 hours of rest between nightshifts, it would be totally irrsponsible to for example commute by bike 2 hours each way, or having to wait for connecting buses 2 to 3 hours each time when I really should be in bed.
But, to conclude this tirade from me, on Bangkok International Motorshow about 3 weeks ago, a really cool “car” from Toyota was presented as a prototype: the toyota FCV. This could be a great choice perhaps for my commuting needs, but I still fear what kind of import taxes such a small car would get here on the rocks in the north.