Art Is Motion: Lexus 300h Mod Paints Driver’s Picture Based On How They Drive. [Video]

Art Is Motion: Lexus 300h paints a portrait of the drive based on how the drive.

Art collector Walter Vanhaerent’s Lexus 300h paints his portrait each time he takes it for a drive. From Gizmodo:

“The specially modified vehicle is half art project, half engineering experiment. Vanhaerent’s Lexus features a large LCD display that shows his portrait being generated by custom software that paints it in the style of artist Sergio Abliac. The slower Vanhaerent drives, the more detailed the portrait will be, and the faster he drives, the more abstract the brush strokes become.”

Cool project but unfortunately, the “Art Is Motion” mod doesn’t motivate the driver to go slower, on electric power alone; if Mr. Vanhaerent is feeling abstract, he’ll just floor it. One additional tweak, that only outputs a painting if the driver drives slower, and this ‘art’ project becomes a standard feature on all Lexus models. [Gizmodo]


How Do You Justify Purchasing A Hybrid Vehicle vs Non-Hybrid Vechicle?

hybrid-vs-non-hybridBased on the NY Times Green Blog story, “Hybrids vs. Nonhybrids: The 5-Year Equation”

If you are deciding right now on what type of car to get – hybrid or non-hybrid – just based on fuel consumption, can you justify the additional expense of a hybrid over five years? That is the question Consumer Reports attempted to answer and it was later reported in the NY Times Green Blog.

They used examples including the Lexus RX350 (non-hybrid) vs the Lexus RX450h (hybrid) which costs $6200 more than its non-hybrid brother. The RX350 gets approx 21 mpg and the RX450h gets 26 mpg and based on sheer fuel efficiency numbers and according to the report, buying the hybrid 450h would only make fiscal sense if gas were priced at $8.77 gallon for the next five years. Check out the article for more information on this and other models.

But for me, the numbers just don’t seem to add up. With the Lexus RX350 vs RX450h comparison, the $6200 price difference breaks down to $1250 per year for five years. (The article based its numbers on driving an average of 12,000 miles per year.)

Gas price Lexus RX350 (21 mpg)
(cost to operate)
Lexus RX450 (26 mpg)
(cost to operate)
(per year)
$2.80/gal $1600/year $1292/year $308
$8.77/gal $5011/year $4047/year $964
$11.35/gal $6480/year $5232/year $1248

Through my very simple calculations, the sweet spot for buying the Lexus RX450h Hybrid seems to be when gas prices hit $11.35/gallon.

Cost effective or not, should you buy a hybrid? That’s up the individual. At the very least, driving a hybrid will reduce your consumption of gasoline or you could just find ways to drive either type less than the 12,000 miles per year average. Either way, the ultimate goal is to find ways to consume less whether you drive a hybrid or not. The NYTimes article may help some decide what to buy but I’ve already made my decision. I’m driving my car until I’m Fred Flinstoning it to where I need to go.