Swap Hybrid for Hybrid = Win for Environment?
Two years ago I bought a 2017 Pacifica Hybrid that is now paid off. Aside from an AC problem early on, the various recalls that are well publicized, and a few other minor nits, the van has been reliable enough.
Lately, a thought crossed my mind. I will continue to need a minivan for 5+ years. Would I be doing the environment a favor if I traded in my van for the 2019 model (also hybrid)? The obvious answer might seem to be 'no', since there are significant environmental costs associated with manufacturing a new vehicle. However, I'd be putting another hybrid on the road. Someone else who might otherwise drive or buy a more polluting vehicle would now be driving my hybrid. I'd be making what is an expensive hybrid van more accessible to the average family. And I'd be encouraging more production of HEVs.
What about the financial aspect? With the $7500 tax credit on the new van, surely the trade-in wouldn't represent a huge loss on my part? At the end of the day though, I'd probably accept a minor financial hit if it would be doing the earth some good. Not to mention I'd be getting a brand new van out of it.
Should I trade in my van?