Consumers Can Believe Hybrid Hype

In a new study issued last week, automotive consumer information service Intellichoice.com reported that gasoline-electric hybrid cars and trucks—favored by environmentalists for sipping instead of guzzling gas—have significantly lower total cost of ownership than equivalent traditional gas-only models.

Owners of the most popular hybrid, Toyota"s Prius, will save more than ,000 in total costs over a similarly sized non-hybrid sedan.

"Across the board, we found that all 22 hybrid vehicles have a better total cost of ownership over five years or 70,000 miles than the vehicles they directly compete against," said Intellichoice.com publisher James Bell. The report found, for instance, that owners of the most popular hybrid, Toyota’s Prius, will save more than $13,000 in total costs over a similarly sized non-hybrid sedan.

"Hybrids are proving themselves to be an excellent alternative for car buyers," Bell added. "Even when factoring in the additional upfront costs for their purchase, the long-term savings hybrids generate makes them a sensible and attractive purchase."

Intellichoice.com’s findings run contrary to previous analyses from Consumer Reports which concluded that hybrid owners cannot make up the higher up-front costs of a hybrid with fuel savings down the road. The key difference is due to the fact that Intellichoice.com factored in hybrids" retention of resale value as well as the availability of various tax and financial incentives.

SOURCES: intellichoice.com; latimes.com/Hybrids

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