Friday, March 12, 2010

No Green Compromises

I saw this blog about an Accenture survey of potential car buyers. It mentions that people likely won’t buy a green car unless it is superior in every way to a gasoline only car. The blog tends to lean towards the side of someone that doesn’t like hybrids. There’s a comment about why they look so bizarre, which seems odd to me. There are a lot of hybrids out there that look just like the gasoline versions. The Prius is shaped differently, but so is the Dodge Caliber. Are they really odd?

toyota-prius dodge_caliber_startech_fro

Are these really that different? I might argue the Prius has softer lines, which contribute to better gas mileage.

I think that there is a lot of fear out there for people in looking at hybrids. I have a few friends that are down on them, based on comments from other friends, that don’t seem right. I think there is some mis-information out there, as well as just some prejudice for no reason.

I have had friends, and strangers, come ask me about my Prius experience and if I recommend them. I think it’s a great car, but I do caution them that they ought to do some analysis. I had one guy actually send me a bunch of data on his driving habits, and I crunched numbers with him, arriving at the decision that a Prius didn’t make sense for him.

In 3 years, I’ve driven 60,000 miles. That’s 20k a year, and I think that at the current $2.75 a gallon, I think it saves me about $1000-1100 a year in gas over even something like a Ford Focus, which is listed as the same class by the government as a Prius.  If I compare to a minivan, which was what we considered, I’m more like $1500 a year.

That’s significant, and it means that my $4500 “hybrid tax” has been paid off. It actually paid off sooner since my first year we drove 26k miles and gas was $4/gal!

However if you drive more like 10-12k miles, and consider a better vehicle that gets closer to 30mpg, then it might be savings of more like $500 a year. If you have a of highway driving, then you might be saving less, so it doesn’t make sense.

Unless you just want the car.

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