Hybrid economy

Prius

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Luis Gabriel Rivas

Hybrid autos were said to be expensive and this false believe which lingers on has to change. This impression was caused by the high prices the hybrid autos had when the new technology was introduced. If you were to spend more on a hybrid auto than you'd have spent otherwise, you were unlikely to ever get your money back - even if you got rid of a gigantic, fuel-sucking SUV. But this was true when hybrids were really expensive and the initial cost outweighed the gas savings. But it doesn’t seem to be true anymore.

Today the petrol prices are rising, the used cars are getting cheaper and the new car industry got to lower the prices to be selling at all. Now, the hybrid autos are found just among other new and used cars when it comes to price range. Some estimate that a new hybrid may even be cheaper than the used one. The example car for costs estimation was 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid and John O'Dell claims in his article that price drop on the car market combined with the industry's ubiquitous cut-rate financing offers, has made it cheaper to buy new than used cars. The hybrid autos’ manufacturer has lowered the costs of purchasing the new cars so much that it was cheaper to buy 2009 Civic than, the same, but one year old used car. The research was based on many factors and took into account several reasons for price reductions, like the national interest rate deal when choosing between new and used car.

There are many more researches that show used hybrid autos became cheaper than other cars, especially if we face oil price rise. The measured fuel cost on the distance of 676 miles has shown that 2008 Toyota Prius Hybrid with 1.5L 4-cyl engine and 75HP electric motor/generator used fuel for 39 Euros while other used cars were much less efficient. Surprisingly, driving 2008 Smart ForTwo with 1.0L 3-cyl engine cost 9.7 Euros more. The numbers do not lie. 2008 Ford Focus costs about 30 000 Euros and its over 30% more expensive while a 2008 Toyota Prius Hybrid can be found for not much more than 20 000 Euros.

Owning a hybrid auto is also a step towards introduction of higher technological and ecological standards in automotive engineering. The European Commission has already adopted an action plan to achieve a 20% substitution of diesel and gasoline fuels by alternative fuels in the road transport sector by 2020. This is one of the reasons why car manufacturers are redesigning the drive train concept towards hybrid systems. To respond to the needs of our environment, with still rising number of cars, we will have to change to hybrid autos in the nearest future and probably to solar powered cars one day.

Today, the hybrid autos should be no longer perceived as new technology cars. They are an integral element of everyday economic and eco lifestyle. Whether deciding to buy one of used or new cars and looking at all the costs of buying a car, not just the purchase price, you should choose a hybrid auto for the sake of both ecology and your budget.


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Jack Taylor
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There’s a lot of doubt surrounding which methods/products are truly sustainable and which are just green washing. Check out our myth-busting video “What’s Your Big Green Lie?!†which gives a taste of the widespread ignorance of green issues including those surrounding hybrid cars at http://www.biggreenlies.com

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