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Hybrid car owners cite price, technology in refusing to buy again
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Hybrid car owners cite price, technology in refusing to buy again - May 14, 2012, 03:19 PM

Hybrid car owners cite price, technology in refusing to buy again


Hybrid car owners cite price, technology in refusing to buy again | Fox News


For a surprising number of U.S. hybrid car owners, the experience is one and done.

According to recent analysis by Polk Automotive, last year just 35 percent chose to buy another hybrid when it came time for a new car. Loyalty dropped even more, to about 33 percent, in eco-conscious cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland.

Despite a desire to help the environment, lighten fuel bills or reduce dependence on foreign oil, hybrid owners' decision to buy a second one comes down to dollars and cents.

"There are a lot of gasoline-powered vehicles out there that are much more fuel efficient, and cost thousands of dollars less than their hybrid counterparts," says Lacey Plache, chief economist with Edmunds.com.

Industry expert and UC Berkeley Prof. Harley Shaiken says the payback period for a hybrid often exceeds 6 years-- the average time car owners hold on to their vehicle.

"If you take two similar, even identical models, one a hybrid, one not, for the Ford Fusion, for example, you're paying a $5,000 premium up front, versus a non-hybrid," explains Shaiken. "Going forward, it could take 8 to10 years to make up that savings. If you only plan to keep the car for 6 or 8 years, you are not going to see it. People are thinking twice about that kind of a decision."

For Los Angeles resident Bruce Cornelius, the decision was less about the cost, more about the hybrid technology and performance. He says his 2008 Honda Civic hybrid didn't get close to the promised 45 miles per gallon -- more like around 28. Echoing complaints made by scores of other Honda hybrid owners, Bruce says the electric battery system often failed, which meant his green car released carbon emissions just like the Mercedes-Benz he'd given up.

"They weren't delivering on the gas mileage, and they really weren't delivering on the green benefits of owning a vehicle like that," says Cornelius, speaking about Honda.

Some states have also put the brakes on tax credits, use of car pool lanes, and other perks once given to hybrid drivers.

Analysts predict the low repurchase rate will motivate car makers to improve the technology, and dealerships to lower sticker prices. They say it's either going to take reductions in price, or soaring costs for gas, to bring former hybrid owners back for a second tour.


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May 14, 2012, 03:27 PM

Kinda a useless study. Technology is moving at an amazing pace in this industry. It's sort of like saying that the first smartphone sucked so I won't buy the one coming out in 2013.
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May 14, 2012, 03:31 PM

And until the day comes when hybrids aren't allowed in the HOV lanes in VA, everyone around here will keep buying em.


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May 14, 2012, 03:35 PM

They need to bear in mind they purchased Gen 1 & Gen 2 hybrid vehicles.
Look at the Gen 3 vehicles coming out (Porsche 918, Tesla S, Ferrari Enzo replacement)



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May 14, 2012, 03:38 PM

I see their point though. There are some great gas powered alternatives now that get a claimed 40mpg without paying the ever present hybrid premium.


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May 14, 2012, 03:52 PM

Mostly city driving... My 2010 Prius w/45K miles is averaging 50.3 MPG's. If you drive mostly highway miles, hybrid may not be your fave, but city mpg's... luv it. Thinking of replacing wifey's car with a Prius C...
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May 14, 2012, 03:52 PM

Or an outstanding electric bill....^


eh...im fine with my Old ass audi.... i get about 28mpg per my last calculation and im perfectly fine with that... the saab is close to the same as well...


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May 14, 2012, 05:16 PM

Really its also based on driving habits. I did this math with the Lexus rx450h vs standard. The hybrid is 6k more. With my driving habits, it would take 14 years to break even. That's with an average savings of 350-400 in gas a year. By that time the battery could go bad and I would never break even.


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May 14, 2012, 05:18 PM

Not to mention destroying earth in the process of getting rid of said battery!


im glad they havent thought that part out yet...


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May 14, 2012, 05:32 PM

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Not to mention destroying earth in the process of getting rid of said battery!


im glad they havent thought that part out yet...
Lithium batteries can be recycled.
If anything they're more desirable for recyclers vs. lead-acid due to the high amounts of Cobalt & Nickel. Lithium only makes up a small amount of the battery - less than 10%, which can be recycled.



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May 14, 2012, 05:38 PM

how many of these batteries will be recycled though?

think junkyards etc....Im pretty sure 10 years or whatever from then, people WONT want to pay dealer price to have it swapped, meaning local Mechanics who will take them to dumps etc. just like car batteries of today, very few actually get recycled..well wait..thats ALL batteries


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May 14, 2012, 07:12 PM

Quote:
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how many of these batteries will be recycled though?

think junkyards etc....Im pretty sure 10 years or whatever from then, people WONT want to pay dealer price to have it swapped, meaning local Mechanics who will take them to dumps etc. just like car batteries of today, very few actually get recycled..well wait..thats ALL batteries
that's a pretty piss poor comparison. these aren't your normal 12V dime a dozen lead acid car batteries. these are larger, more powerful, longer lasting and most importantly... more expensive. they get snatched up. when i was doing the hybrid car/truck programs at UMD back in '03, sourcing cheap (even the gen1) battery packs wasn't easy. even that early the junkyards knew damn well what they were worth.
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May 15, 2012, 02:45 PM

I bought a new Gen 2 Prius in 2005 for $22k. I needed a 4 door car that could fit 4 adults comfortably. That's normal car price to me, and I regularly got 50-52mpg. Kept it for 5 years and put 140k miles on it. Never had a problem. Compared to a car that gets 35mpg (still fairly high for an all gas car 4 adults can fit into), that's 2800 gallons of fuel used for the Prius, and 4000 gallons for the generic example car. That's a pretty significant difference in fuel cost. If you're talking a 30mpg car, that's 4600 gallons. In 2010, I sold the gen 2 and bought new gen 3 for $24k. Price had gone up a bit, but it was also a little bigger car, and made 2-3mpg better.
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May 15, 2012, 03:41 PM

We have two prius's in the family. We commute to the eastern shore 2-3 / week and the gas savings is quite a bit. We purchased both of them used, and definitely got our money's worth out of them, and will definitely purchase another one.


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May 15, 2012, 03:56 PM

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We have two prius's in the family. We commute to the eastern shore 2-3 / week and the gas savings is quite a bit. We purchased both of them used, and definitely got our money's worth out of them, and will definitely purchase another one.
With the gas savings, you can afford to pay the ridonkulous toll to cross the rickety Bay Bridge.



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