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 math.
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 happens:
1) The base prices become equal for hybrid vs non-hybrid in same-model comparisons.
2) The battery pack change becomes a covered warranty item at 5 years, extending the car life to 10 years.
Am I wrong?