Saturday, April 15, 2006

The Green of Driving Green

I have driven two different hybrid vehicles since they were introduced a few years back. The Toyota Prius, which is surprisingly roomy, and the new Toyota Highlander hybrid which is the same body design as the gas engine equivalent, but with the hybrid electric motor. I liked both of these vehicles although they both lack some of the pep that you are accustomed to with a gas engine. And I like the idea of better gas mileage more and more with gallon of the stuff going for around $2.65 where I live these days. But, I've always assumed that over the long haul, even with the tax incentives, that the cost of ownership would be higher with the hybrid vs a similar gas engine only vehicle. Well, it looks like I'm mostly right, except for the Prius (unless gas keeps going up). Kiplinger compares the cost of ownership with the different available hybrids and concludes that most of them will cost you a few bucks more over a 5 year period of ownership.

Still, I'm willing to paying a few dollars more over the years to drive a greener vehicle. And the pep issue is not a big problem for me either. If I purchased a hybrid it would be to replace an older but similar gas-burning sedan. And I have a gas-burning 4WD truck for when I want to go where no man has gone before (or just a few have anyway). And looking at what gas prices have done the past year, I'd even be willing to bet that they're only going up from here and that any of the hybrids would save me money overall in the next 5 years.

 

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