Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Hybrid Sales on Decline

Was Hybrid just a fad? I know I was excited to hear about the Honda Insight back when it first came out. Then I heard and was pretty unimpressed. A tiny Honda Insight with a hybrid powertrain can get 60MPG? Big deal. The 3 cylinder Geo Metro could get 40-50MPG and it was roomier. A Hybrid Chevy Tahoe can get 21 MPG?! OMG!!! Ponies!!! I got better real world mileage in my V6 Explorer (typically 22-24 MPG).

When gas prices shot through the roof, hybrid sales took off and automakers got off their duffs and actually started working on new hybrid vehicles. But as with all things in the automotive industry, their time-to-market was waaaaaaaay too long and gas is cheap again. Nobody is paying the multi-thousand dollar premium to save a minimal amount on gasoline.

I'm really hoping this doesn't impact the release of real electric cars that can travel a decent distance. I'd go for one of those. In fact, I'm pretty excited that my Jeep will be paid off right about the time the Chevy Volt comes off its new model glitches and new model high demand. What I really want is something that will run without a drop of gasoline for at least 60 miles between charges but can run off of gasoline if I ever need to take a trip somewhere. That's what I thought a hybrid was when I first heard about them. Too bad I was wrong. Give that to the people and you'll have more converts.

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