The only way people are going to see the benefits of going to a hybrid vehicle from a standard vehicle is to show it to them in dollar value. Currently if you add up the cost of a hybrid and compare it's counterparts cost (Prius/Corolla, Civic/Civic HB), the cost of a hybrid is more than a typical car. I have taken into account only a few small items, but it seems these are the most prudent; MSRP (yes I know that is not what I will pay), Average Mileage (Based on EPA Testing), repair cost, and curent fuel cost.

I have used the Prius and Corolla as the subject Matter. The Prius has an MSRP of $21,500. Its fuel cost over five years is $8,157. (Based the american average driving of 15,000m/yr, fuel economy of 46m/g) And an average repair cost of $718 over five years. There is not a tax write off any more because Toyota has exceeded the 60,000 production mark of the vehicle. That brings the total cost of the Prius to $29,065.

The Corolla has an MSRP of $15,250. Its fuel cost is $10,867 over five years (29m/gal). And an average repair cost of $680. The total cost of the Corolla is $26,792. The difference between the two is $2,273.83.

Current fuel cost here in Oregon is right around $4.20/gal which is higher than most of the country. For the hybrid to be a suitable choice for most people, since money is a prime factor in decision making, gas would have to be right around $7.00/gal. If the current market for Light Sweet Crude oil continuesto grow, I wouldn't be surprised if we see that price around Chrsitmas 2009. Hopefully, by them the US Dollar will have regained some stregth to give it more purchasing power.

I am not going to get into a discussion about the cost of a new battery system. Just like most batteries out there, they will need to be replaced. But, according to toyota they have had a failure rate on the batteries of .03, if I read the data correctly. The age of the cars is still to young to support any data on failure rate of the batteries. I would say ten years will tell the tale.