To Hybrid or Not To Hybrid ...

Econo-Girl reads with amusement the articles claiming that hybrid cars are not worth the extra price. Gas prices aren't high enough to justify the added cost of getting a hybrid.

Hybrids are a political statement. A hybrid car says "Let's be self-sufficient as a nation." It is a cool new technology, like electricity in the 19th Century. Like the advent of Scratch-N-Sniff in the Seventies. Like heat-sensitive paper in the Seventies (mood rings).

Hybrid cars also make the buyer feel as if he were getting over on the system. And you would not have to worry about running out of gas in traffic. Gas prices would take less of a bite out of the monthly expenses, too.

OK, OK, and maybe the buyer would feel just a little bit superior, a little bit more in the know. But isn't that a large part of what sells cars?


lewis_medlock said...

im a fan of the technology, yet it isnt cost effective yet.
a focus wagon has the room and comfort of an escape hybrid, at 10,000 USD less.......you'd have to save a lot of gas to make up the difference......and I doubt you would....at 3.00/gal. & 15k miles a year , you'd save about $200.00 per year with the hybrid escape. there is a 2000 USD tax break (~$500 in real money, depending upon your bracket), but still, after the pencil is put down, it is for idealogical and not financial reasons most folks get a hybrid.

The Lazy Iguana said...

This kind of technology should be 15 - 20 years old by now. It should be harder to find a pure gas car than a hybrid at this point.

But this is not the case. Back in the early 80s, what was America interested in? Raising the tariffs on Japanese import cars, so that the large gas guzzling Fords and Chevys could compete. It was un-american to suggest that we had to conserve fuel! Gas taxes to encourage conservation were for communists!

And now, we are reaping what we planted. 25 years of piss poor energy policies are showing their colors. As engines became more fuel efficient, the market started to push larger, heavier cars. What technology and innovation did - the market un-did.

This is but one reason why the theory of the efficiency of markets is about as sound as the theory the Earth is only 6,000 years old.

We have nobody to blame but ourselvs. Hybrid technology COULD have been commonplace. We could have cars on the roads that boast an average of 100 MPG. But no. We all had to have Suburbans and Escalades.

Econo-Girl said...

You are right, Iggy. Hybrid technology should be commonplace. In fact, didn't Jimmy Carter say something similar about freeing ourselves from dependence from foreign fuel?

Econo-Girl said...


I agree completely. I would also add a bit of social status in there for reasons people buy hybrids.