The growing force behind environmental protection and the large spike in gasoline costs in the recent past has skyrocketed the availability and popularity of hybrid cars. As a result, major automakers have made several hybrid models which are now available in the market, and they are sold immediately because of their various models and therefore hit the car dealers more often. However, according to a recent study, most of us are not willing to pay a premium when it comes to buying these vehicles.
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This is because anyone can buy a 1988 Honda CRX and have a car that gets hybrid gas with a guarantee that the 1988 Honda CRX although as old as it might be may not be as reliable or last for a long time as the newer car but when considering to base one’s decision on gas mileage strictly it would be better and a less expensive option than going for a hybrid (www.go.ucsusa.org 2005: pp. 3-5)
The recent rampant complains about gas prices is enough to put an army of Eyesores to shame to an extent that even some Americans have started to put their money where their mount is, they have established various organization which offers incentives to car poolers’ and they are encouraging employer rewards for all conscious commuters, as a result, mass transit systems are expanding, hybrid vehicles have become more and more popular to an extent that most manufacturers are even planning to increase significantly the number of hybrid models in near future.
The number of hybrid car models in 2003 tripled, as a result, in addition, various government levels have begun to offer incentives to hybrid ownership, and this trend is likely to accelerate as an alternative for fuel and hybrid research continues to develop. However, ecologically there is no question that it is the best consistently available model out there, but what really matters to Americans is about money, whether or not buying a gas-electric hybrid is financially beneficially (www.go.ucsusa.org 2005: pp. 5-7)
Most times we appear to do our part to protect the environment but in the real sense all of us are for burning less fossil fuel, this is because hybrid cars are paying too high, even financial experts support that hybrid drivers are paying very high premiums for a vehicle which only offers marginally better fuel efficiency than other economy cars already on the road. There is also another consideration, the government has started to roll back tax incentives for these cars, which means in the near future, approximately $21000 tax reduction will increasingly be phased out by the end of this year 2007.
This has negative implications, they will be in fact be more and more expensive and therefore for those people looking after their pockets, there is no gaining that will be there for them any time soon from now. I, therefore, suggest it is wise for them to wait until when the power trains of hybrids’ have been improved and bring prices into an alignment to other regular models (www.edmunds.com 2005:pp.1-2).
Although some other hybrid cars are cheap when compared with others like Cadillac Escalade when compared with economy cars, which are their counterparts, there are more expensive at the dealership where you will have to pay 25% to 30% more and therefore not much will be saved. Analysis from consumer experts shows that when the 2003 Honda Civic hybrid model which gets 36 miles per gallon and sells approximately $21000 is compared with Honda Civic EX, which gets 29 miles per gallon and sells at around $18500 excluding the tax break although this varies according to the income, it actually takes 1.5 years in gas savings to pay back the extra money you initially laid out, with the hybrid, however, with tax break it will take even four years to break.
In addition, there is even more bad news, hybrid depreciates faster than other models. Edmund.com reports that the reason for this sad news is that automakers are improving the hybrid power train very fast; therefore, it is unlikely that any driver in a few years in the used car market will want to purchase a hybrid with early technology.
To make matters easier for them, the IRS no longer wants to subsidize hybrid cars. In fact, in 2002, it gave the owners of hybrid vehicles a $2000 tax break on all new purchases, this was actually meant to encourage the citizens to buy hybrid cars, and therefore, protects the environment, at the same time decrease America’s dependence on oil from the Middle East, and in January next year tax incentive will start to shrink, in fact, it will be phased out completely by the end of this year, 2007.
According to their plan, the $200 deduction was to be cut at 25%, 50%, and 75% in 2004, 2005, and 2006, respectively. However, there are some signs of survival because the energy bill that is being debated by the senate energy would deliver two tax breaks worth $3500 for all fuel-efficient vehicles, and as a result, experts estimate that hybrids could qualify up to $2,000, however, the passage of this bill in its current form is not certain (www.edmunds.com 2005:pp.2-4)
Nevertheless, it is still unknown the cost of the new hybrid SUVs, the Ford Escape and the Lexus RX Hybrid, and the exact amount of their gas mileage. All the same, some expert market analysts indicate that they are to be priced somewhere in between with other lightweight trucks, in addition, they also offer a much better fuel economy. Therefore, there would not be any reason to own one if they could at least achieve both goals.
Although consumer reports like Shenhar are skeptical of Ford’s plans to release their ford escape the first quarter of next year, where it claims that it will get an astonishing 35-40 miles per gallon with a power of a V6 – like engine because they don’t understand how a heavy SUV will get the same mileage as the 2003 Toyota Prius according to their test. Some even argue the possibility of for example the Lexus or ford SUV’s capability to achieve the expected superior fuel efficiency against owning a first-year model of any new car, it is therefore according to them to wait for at least a year for this to be worked out first(www.hybridcars.com 2005: pp.1-2).
But this does not mean that when driving anywhere, to feel guilty of polluting the environment, it actually means that you can a close hybrid fuel consumption that has got several small cars with efficient engines with manual transmissions because models like Honda Civic Hybrid can get 36 miles per gallon, while the 2003 Prius can get 42 miles per gallon although the 2004 Model has not yet been tested. But a Toyota Echo with a manual transmission gets up to 38 miles per gallon, it is therefore considerably cheaper with an average cost of $10,000.
However, in the real sense, any driver can increase the fuel efficiency of any car if he chooses a manual transmission over an automatic one. This is accounted for the fact that an average stick-shift vehicle can get up to 17% to 18% better gas mileage than an automatic one. But if you need a larger space car, it is better to consider a Wagon rather than an SUV, because on average a Wagon gets mileage between 24% to 25% range, while an SUV gets in the range of 19% to 20%. Nevertheless, they are also safe compared to SUVs; this is a very important consideration for anyone hauling priceless cargo (www.hybridcars.com 2005: pp.3-6).
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Compare Prices and Read Reviews on 2001 Toyota Corolla at Epinions.com, Inc. (2005). Web.
Hybrid Incentives. USCUSA.org. Union of Concerned Scientists (2005). Web.
Reasons Not To Buy a Hybrid (2005). Hybridcars.com. Web.