Went shopping for a car this weekend, was considering a hybrid but
settled on a six cylinder that gets only 4 MPG less than the same non-
hybrid model with a 4 cylinder.
First the cost of a hybrid adds about $4000 to the base price of the
same car as a non-hybrid. That to me represents about 3 years worth
of gasoline puchases based on the differential and a now
conservatively high $2.50/gal average. Also the hybrid will need a
batter pack change in 5 to 7 years, (I keep my cars 10 years or 200k
miles), the $3000 cost of the batter pack lets me buy another 2 years
worth of gasoline at the back end on my non-hybrid. The hybrid cannot
tow anything without voiding warranty, (I need to tow a small luggage
trailer under 200lbs). The hybrid has less interior space because of
the battery pack (gas tank and spare tire are traditionally the two
things that rob interior space, now we add battery pack to that).
Maybe a hybrid would make economic sense if gas were $5/gal but even
that would be close considering the $4000 initial hit and the battery
replacement $3000 hit at 5-7 years. Considering I put all the saved
money to the gas differential which might be 10MPG at best a modern
good mileage six or four banger outweighs the hybrid according to my
Are people driving hybrids out of the goodness of their hearts? What
do you think the price of gas will have to go to to make them
economical? I dont see it happening unless and until the following
1) The base prices become equal for hybrid vs non-hybrid in same-model
2) The battery pack change becomes a covered warranty item at 5 years,
extending the car life to 10 years.
Am I wrong?