PHOTO CAPTION: Honda Insight is currently lowest-priced hybrid in North America.

Economic Bottom Line Shifting Toward Hybrids For More People

Despite $3-5,000 price premium, more new car customers going with hybrids.

Published: 18-Oct-2010

ORLANDO, Fla. — Richard Lamute, sales manager for Classic Honda in Orlando, is used to having customers sit down, pull out a calculator, and figure up the difference between the cost of buying a hybrid vehicle and a regular gasoline-powered car.

For years, the gasoline-powered cars, such as the economical Fit or Civic, beat out the hybrid after they figured how much gasoline they’d save, versus how much more the hybrid cost to buy — often $3,000 to $5,000.

Customers are still doing that, Lamute says, but now they are often coming to the opposite conclusion. "Hybrids have never been more affordable," he said. "Customers are finding that there’s a case to be made for them over regular cars."


2010 Toyota Sai appears based on Lexus 250h Hybrid

SAI hybrid went on sale in Japan on October 20, 2009 and appears to fit between Prius and Crown Hybrid.

Hyundai Elantra LPI Hybrid

Hyundai Australia wants gasoline-engine version of LPG-powered hybrid to compete with Toyota and Honda hybrids.

Generation III Priuses being inspected on assembly line in Japan. Photo credit: NY Times.

Component bottlenecks, including batteries and inverters, have limited output of the third-generation Prius since production began in April.


blog comments powered by Disqus