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CNNMoney Tackles Seven Hybrid Vehicle Concerns

Posted By Jim On 10/01/2006 @ 10:00 am In Cars | 4 Comments

Why haven’t you bought a hybrid vehicle yet? Do you hate Mother Earth? Or were you concerned that hybrid technology is so new that if you bought a hybrid and it broke down, you’d be stuck always going to the overpriced dealer for repairs? What about the lifespan of the hybrid batteries? Well, on the first count you’d be right… working on it will require special training. As for the battery life, you shouldn’t worry because Toyota and Ford both claim to have vehicles that have batteries that have lasted over 100,000 miles, some Toyota vehicles have made it past 200,000 miles.

Here is the full list:
1. Worry: Hybrids have complicated technology that is difficult or expensive to fix – They do agree that some of the work on the car will require some special training (the hybrid related parts) but you can always go back to the dealership. CNNMoney claims it’s a “slight concern.”

1. Worry: Hybrids have limited battery pack life – Between the claims by Toyota and Ford (100k miles+) and the warranties. Toyota warranties hybrid-specific components for 10 years or 100k miles, Ford warranties for 8 years or 100k miles, and Honda for 8 years and 80k miles. CNNMoney considers it “not a major concern.”

3. Worry: Hybrids have technical problems like stalling and sputtering – Apparently some Toyota Priuses were recalled last year because the gasoline engine would sometimes shut off during highway driving (wow), but it was a software glitch that was fixed in a recall. CNNMoney doesn’t think it’s a real concern.

4. Worry: Hybrids do not pay for themselves to justify their premium cost – “The two biggest reasons that hybrids don’t save their owners money are the higher initial cost and fast depreciation.” CNNMoney thinks this concern is real and all the calculations done by anyone has concurred. You won’t save money but you will save the environment… if you don’t consider the battery disposal.

5. Worry: Hybrids do not offer the driving performance needed – This one is the funniest concern I saw, if you think you’re going to tear out of the parking lot with a hybrid… you’ll be mostly wrong. Some hybrids accelerate faster than their non-hybrid equivalents but that’s usually not the case.

6. Worry: Hybrids will not hold resale value – Their explanation was a little confusing, on one hand they say that we shouldn’t be fooled by the stories of hybrids but then they explained how the Prius did have high resale value because they were sold in low volumes and have a unique design. They listed it as a “genuine concern.”

7. Worry: Hybrids do not get the level of mileage promised – “If, by “promised,” you mean “EPA estimated,” they certainly don’t. And neither will anything else. The problem with hybrids, though, is that even though all vehicles might get about 15 percent fewer miles per gallon than the government says — that’s one common estimate — 15 percent of a big number is a far larger miss than 15 percent of a small number.”

Hybrids: Seven worries, seven answers [3] [CNN Money]

(Photo: MaryMactavish [4])


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[3] Hybrids: Seven worries, seven answers: http://money.cnn.com/2006/03/14/Autos/tipsandadvice/hybrid_worries/index.htm

[4] MaryMactavish: http://www.flickr.com/photos/42614915@N00/2524741927/sizes/m/

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