If hybrids are so great, then why aren't they used in Japan or European
countries where gas is more expensive? Answer: poor return on investment.
1. They cost more.
2. They depreciate quicker (and will as hybrid technologh improves).
3. A high mileage car (like a Honda Civic or a Toyota Corolla or Echo)
will get comparable gas mileage with conventional engine technology.
So... Calculate the increased cost of buying a hybrid and compare it
with the gas savings and see how long it takes to break even.
Compare that with the cost savings you'd get by simply buying a good
mileage internal combustion engine car.
Then decide for yourself.
I get a kick outta the SUV hybrids. Add a bunch of girth and then try
to compensate by putting a hybrid engine in it. Sort of like buying
a Hybrid Humvee.
The term is "early adopters". I bought my first DVD player in 1997
before they really took off. Cost me $1099, although it was for the
Pioneer combinational LaserDisc/DVD player. I bought another one
later that Fall (from Sony) for $600. These days a machine for
under $100 will perform at least as well and have more capabilities
that were added as the technology progressed.
I used to work in downtown Berkeley, California. I would park at
a city owned garage which was used for part of the city's motor
pool. City Hall and many city offices were within a block. I
think the city's policy used to be to buy American makes. There
were a lot of white Ford Tempos, Chevy Cavaliers, and Dodge
Ram pickups. Recently though, they've had several Honda Civic
I enjoyed being an early adopter of automotive tgechnology a lot more when
it was part of the job and didn 't cost me anything. I am a little less
enthusiastic now that I have to pay for cars :-(
I lived in the Bay area from '78 to '83 and noticed that there were a lot
more imports on the road in CA than in the Midwest. I suppose that the
trend towards imports may even be stronger than it was back then.
The city population as a whole leans towards import makes, like
Honda, Toyota, Volvo, and BMW. The city itself has varying
incomes, and the tendency is towards American makes in some
of the lower income parts of town.
There's only a single new car dealer in Berkeley that still sells
an American make (a VW/Cadillac dealer). There used to be
dealers for Olds, Buick, and Chevy until business started waning
in the 90's. Reggie Jackson Chevrolet was the last to close. It's
now a bookstore.
One reason is that performance is not such a big issue, and typical cars
there have smaller engines, and already get better milage than typical
cars sold in US. Hybrids are way to keep performance AND high milage.
yeah, you pay a premium for a car with good milage and performance
compared to just small engined car, but US buyers are willing and able
to pay such a premium.
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