Compare your eco-choices ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Compare your eco-choices

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Compare your eco-choices

ABC News compared the pros and cons of the various eco cars, from hybrids down to biodiesel. I have a few issues with their cons for hybrids, but that's just me.


Batteries: There is much speculation on how long the batteries in hybrid cars last, but the owner of the first Prius (a taxi driver) has put 180,000 miles on his car without a battery replacement, and that's a good sign.

Vehicle Choice: Up until recently, you've only been able to get sedans that use hybrid technology. Manufacturers have recognized the popularity of the hybrids and have started to make SUVs with the technology. Here's the rub: Higher-powered vehicles (like trucks and SUVs) get better but not fantastic mileage, and they cost a lot more to purchase. According to Consumer Reports, the hybrid Escape from Ford gets city/highway mileage of 22/29, averaging at 26 mpg. The regular Ford Escape gets 12/27 mileage, averaging at 18 mpg.

Price: The 8 mpg differential is great, but for consumers, you have to factor in the increased costs of buying a hybrid. For the Escape, the MSRP on the hybrid is $8,000 more than the MSRP on the traditional, nonhybrid version of the same SUV.

Extra vehicle choice shouldn't be listed in cons, for instance. You would think it would be listed as a pro? The hybrids (especially the SUVs) do cost more to buy, but the costs tend to level out in the long run. Also, the hybrid battery life has never been a big issue, and yet it gets mentioned again and again for being a possibile issue.

Also, under price being a con, the difference isn't going to be $8000. Depending on what state you're in, you may get access to the HOV lane or perhaps free parking. Also, for instance, in CT you don't pay sales tax. Then, of course, there's the federal tax credit on hybrid cars.

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at

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