10-29-2014, 01:51 PM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Most people evaluate hybrids and ev's on the basis of whether they will save money on fuel, and your ending question reflects that approach.
However, many who buy these cars are interested in reducing their fuel consumption, which is a different matter from the cost of that fuel. Think of it as a sort of "hobby". Some are happy to spend extra money for a larger engine in a car, or fancier accessories. It could be said that they view spending that extra money as justified because they want more than a basic car.
In the same manner, some are happy to spend money to buy a hybrid or ev, not because they ever expect to recoup the extra expense, but because they want to burn less fuel. The same people might spend extra money to buy a more efficient furnace to heat their houses.
As you can see by my signature, I have a hybrid, very similar to my Grand Vitara. It's not an expensive hybrid, and I paid very little extra for it as I bought it used.
The effect is that we seldom drive the GV anymore. The Escape does almost everything the GV does, but uses about 55% as much gas in city driving, and about 70% as much gas on the highway.
The Escape is nicer for highway driving and is almost as capable on 4x4 roads. And unlike the GV, the Escape has no rattles. That the Escape is a hybrid is so subtle that probably some people who own them don't even know they're driving a hybrid.
The concerns that hybrids would need costly battery replacements and would be generally unreliable, have turned out to be untrue.
After driving a hybrid for a while, other cars just seem dumb in a world with too much pollution: wasting gas when idling and wasting all that energy every time you apply the brakes.
2006 Grand Vitara JLX-L
2009 Ford Escape Hybrid AWD Limited