Behind the Wheel with Phil Lebeau

Hybrid Backlash: Your Comments On My "Critical" Post

I knew there would backlash from my blog on Friday.Listen, any time you write or say something about hybrids, there's a flurry of comments, on both sides, from those who think you have no clue.

In this case it was from hybrid owners who think I'm nuts to suggest that hybrids make less sense financially to buy right now than they did a year ago.

John told me:
"This article may be using out of date information. Plus think of all the pollution you wouldn't be putting in the air for those years."

Sorry John. The data from both J.D. Power and Edmunds is from March and April.

Dennis e-mailed:
"I just want to say, the consumers that buys hybrids they don't just buy to save gas.... At the same time they want to save the environment too."

I think that's great Dennis. And more power to you and others who are helping the environment. My blog simply said that hybrid fans should not tout the financial sense behind these cars, when compared to last year.

Rob wrote:
"I didn't see anything if resale value is factored into this, but I'm guessing not."

You are right Rob, the calculation of how many years it takes to recoup the "premium" you pay for a hybrid does not include re-sale value. That's a valid point.

Robert said:
"What your article on the price of hybrids tells me is that hybrids don't get enough MPG.......So please tell me that they're working on improving the hybrid process so we can see some real progress."

The auto companies are all making strides with hybrids, but in terms of efficiency and battery power. I know the hybrids will get better mileage in the future. But in my mind, the issue is less about mpg improvement, and more about the premium gap between hyrbids and standard cars.

Listen, the bottom line is that hybrids are a great option. But they are not always the "best" option. The numbers show that in some cases (12 years to break even) they are a tough move to justify financially.

Questions?  Comments?