Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Are Hybrids Really Worth It?

With gas prices continuing to soar, more and more people are looking at hybrid cars, SUVSs, and trucks. However, in taking a closer look at hybrid performance, it seems that they are not as cost effective as we think they are. For example, most hybrid owners report that their vehicles don't achieve anywhere near the published miles-per-gallon fuel efficiency. Most owners are getting 15-20 mpg less than their EPA published ratings (Toyota Prius getting 35-40 mpg instead of the EPA rating of 60 mpg, Honda Civic Hybrid getting 25-35 mpg instead of the EPA rating of 48 mpg, and Ford Escape Hybrid getting 22-25 mpg instead of the EPA rating of 33 mpg). In addition, new hybrids MSRP's are typically 20-30% more expensive than the conventional gas-powered equivalent. So, for a hybrid owner to breakeven with his/her gas-powered counterpart (for example, a Honda Civic Hybrid vs a Regular Honda Civic), the hybrid owner would have to keep the car for 7-8 years and/or gas prices have to hit $7-9 per gallon. How's that for hybrid economics?

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