// why buy hybrid? Tell me!!
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  1. #1

    why buy hybrid? Tell me!!

    I am a reporter looking for people who want to talk about buying hybrid cars versus conventional ones. I want people who are happy, unhappy, whatever you feel and are willing to share. You can get back with me through this or reach via [email protected]

  2. #2

    why buy hybrid? Tell me!!

    Hi, Amy. I have ordered a new Ford Escape Hybrid. I drive SUV's because we carry our grand daughters, pets and karate gear, when we are not carrying pine bark mulch and and items to Goodwill.

    Our current SUV gets about 18 MPG, and much of the daily driving is low speed, stop and go (store, school, daughters house - 2 miles away.)

    I want to save fuel, produce lower emmissions, plus I want the "Bragging Rights" that come with an SUV that gets 36 MPG and still performs like a big engine vehicle.

    With the Federal Tax incentives, fuel cost at $1.75 per gallon or more, and driving 12,000 miles per year, I expect to have payback on the incremental cost of the Hybrid within 5 1/2 years. I also get the added benefit of 100,000 mile warranty on the battery, motor and transmission.

    If I should sell the vehicle in a few years, it should have much better than average resale value, based on what I'm seeing for the Toyota and Honda Hybrids (plus this is an SUV.)

    I would only consider a "Full Hybrid" - that can run on battery power only mode - because much of our driving will be at battery only speeds. The Escape Hybrid can go up to 3 miles or so, under 25 MPH before the gas engine starts up to recharge the batteries (all 250 of them).

    If I were only interested in highway fuel economy, I would likely coinsider a standard 4 cylinder Escape. but I would be giving up the performance of the V6 and the 36 MPG in city driving that the Hybrid offers.

    Now if the Fed's give approval to the states to let the Escape Hybrids use the HOV lanes, that will be another bonus.

    I think when you run the numbers, you will see why Ford has most of the 2005 Escape Hybrids already sold. Nothing against Honda or Toyota Hybrids, but if I wanted to get good fuel economy in a small car (with limited performance), there are lots to choose from that don't have a premium price. I think Ford did it just right!

  3. #3

    why buy hybrid? Tell me!!

    i wanted "crazy gas mileage". i took a job with what i knew was going to be a real gas guzzling commute. i knew that if the nagging weekly fill ups at the pumps - which i call "twsiting the knife" - i would not arrive at work in a proper frame of mind.

    my prior vehciles, all held for 10 years, saw gas prices basically double over the time i had the vehicles.

    years ago i could fill up for under $20. then it hit $30. then it hit $40. THEN this past year i actually paid $50!!!!!!!!! to fill up my gas tank in southern california.

    with a hybrid i can once again fill up for under $20! i also have a 450 mile range which i simply never had in any of my other vehicles.

    i recognize that i paid more for this honda hybrid then i would for a traditional economy car, but with my ownership history & the expectation of higher & higher gas prices i don't experience that "twisting of the knife" when i fill up the tank every other week.

    see elsewhere on this website the data on how much gas would be saved if we increased gas mileage by 1, 3, or 7 MPG. it's stunning the affect from such small ~ acheivable ~ gas economy. i do my part now. it's too bad these cars & the technology are not turned into law. we could sure gain a greater level of country energy independance if it were.

    see ya


  4. #4

    why buy hybrid? Tell me!!

    Hello Amy,

    For some of the reasons I ordered a Prius, you can see my previous posts under "Prius Payback" and "Hybrids and the Automaker Market." To summarize, saving money is always important. In a previous post, I showed that the Prius will pay back (in simple terms) in about 3-3.5 years. Which is an excellent return (20-25%) on investment--better than I will get anywhere else. I also have two small children and, even though I'm in my 40s, I bet I can still get them in and out of a car faster than any "soccer mom" in a mini-van.

    Even though simple payback shows that the Prius is a good investment, there are many other benefits to using less gasoline that are difficult to quantify, but still real, equally important to me, and make the payback even better. They are:

    2) Generating less (gaseous) pollution will save a lot of money down the road on healthcare costs. Many Universities, government agencies, and independent scientific groups (Union of Concerned Scientists, e.g.) around the world have shown this.

    3) Generating less (particulate) pollution will also slow the increase in our healthcare costs. Smog and particulate matter affect the young, the elderly and those with asthma in particular. There are some cities in Texas where 35% of the population (higher percent of children) have asthma. A lot of money going to their healthcare could be saved if not only cars were more efficient in those areas, but also the local chemical plants, etc.

    4) Using less gasoline reduces the cost of gasoline. No, it probably won't decrease the cost, but it will slow the rate of growth, due to demand coming from China and India.

    5) Using less gasoline also reduces the compromises our political leaders have to make when dealing with oil rich nations that sponsor terrorism--like Saudi Arabia. If we didn't need the oil to fuel our country, we wouldn't have to hold our noses and look the other way while we negotiate contracts with these countires. It also negates the necessity of having to invade these countries for their oil. I work in combustion research (where I burn jet fuel and take emissions measurements) at an Air Force base, and there are a lot of military personnel there who know, and openly admit, we invaded Iraq for the oil. This is not smart long term foreign policy, and as consumers we can have an affect on this by what we purchase. Lawmakers affect our lives by what policies, good or bad, they set. As consumers, we can take away some of their power over us by making some issues moot! Always a good thing!

    6) Using less gasoline would increase our national security because less money is spent on easily avoidable, non-value-added issues such as war and protecting oil fields, and pollution-caused health issues--asthma attacks, premature deaths, etc. It also makes us less vulnerable to an attack on Saudi oil fields, thousands of miles away.

    These are all reasons that lead me to order a Prius. All of them have a payback either directly to me, or for the country as a whole. And that's an investment I will choose all the time.

  5. #5

    why buy hybrid? Tell me!!

    Amy, I'm a Texas soccer mom on my second Prius. To Vince's reply, I say I wish I had written it! He does an excellent job summing up the big-picture reasons behind my purchase of a Prius.

    As for the little picture, my daughter has asthma, as do many of her teammates. Their parents recoil in horror if anyone lights up a cigarette in the vicinity, but then they hop into their pollution-mobiles to drive to practices and games, somehow missing the point that that brownish haze in the sky ain't coming from the few old smokers left in town.

    I wanted to lead by example--showing my SUV-driving cohorts at the soccer field (and the office) that the Prius is certainly roomy enough, luxurious enough, and beautiful enough to replace their big gas-guzzlers painlessly. Many soccer moms and dads are just uninformed about the technology--since there has never been much need to advertise hybrids, I've found that a lot of people haven't even heard the whole story. Just having a Prius around shows people that it's not some scary thing, and it's a great way to start a conversation that leads into Vince's points.

  6. #6

    why buy hybrid? Tell me!!

    In searching for information about my new Escape Hybrid (ordered but not scheduled yet), I find that the cost of ownership may be significantly reduced since the oil/filter change intervals are 12 months/10,000 miles. The engine operates sp cleanly and effeciently that the oil does not need changing as often as a regular gas engine.

  7. #7

    why buy hybrid? Tell me!!

    We just became a two hybrid family. We have a 2002 Prius and have just purchased an Escape Hybrid.

    Fuel economy is certainly a consideration in these days of $2+ per gallon gas, but there is also for us a strong desire to reduce the amount of pollution we personally contribute to the atmosphere.

    The hybrid vehicles currently on the market are capable of operating (with the right fuel) while producing less than 10 percent of the pollution of "regular" cars. There are other technologies that achieve similar results, but they all have issues of their own. Natural Gas vehicles are very clean, but in most areas the infrastructure to support them simply does not exist (and Natural Gas is becoming more expensive too). Electric vehicles have always suffered from poor range. The attraction of the hybrid is it treads more lightly on the planet while at the same time using the existing infrastructure.

  8. #8

    why buy hybrid? Tell me!!

    Better than 60MPG average tanks from my 5 passenger HCH...That's my reason, it turns an otherwise drab, boring motoring experience into a challenge.

    It's better than the average for a mid-size touring motorcycle.

    My results are not the average MPG experience as reported by individual HCH owners, which is about 47.

    The MPG game. That's what it is for me.
    Some Insight hypermilers averaged over 90MPG last summer.
    That's simply an amazing accomplishment.

  9. #9

    why buy hybrid? Tell me!!

    I was wondering why people think they need a car? What ever happened to walking, riding a bicycle, or heaven forbid taking public transportation. Just what we need more cars on CA highways. They still use gasoline, and prolong our addicition, I want something else!

  10. #10

    why buy hybrid? Tell me!!

    you live in california and wonder why we need a car? the public transoportaion system is the worst in the country! maybe even the northern hemisphere!

    when you can drive somewhere in 30 minutes or take a bus in 2 hours, i try to drive.

    when you can drive somewere (say the heart of LA on a weekend) and can see a movie & dinner and head home at 10pm ~ 4 HOURS after the last train home! you drive!

    it'd be nice if there was better public transportaion, but i sure am not holding out for anything!

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