People who seriously want to save money on their transportation costs
do this calculation. Then one of the disadvantages of hybrid electric
hybrids becomes apparent, as they discover their total cost of ownership
will be higher if they get a hybrid. That usually causes them to
rethink and they decide to buy something else.
Because this innovative power system was installed in compact cars
first is one of the reasons for the current high cost. The fact that it is
a compact car means that all the components must be small and
miniaturized. The engineering price tag required to achieve this is largely what
makes the new type of power plant more expensive.
The worst of the disadvantages of hybrid cars is that they are not for
everybody. The ones currently being offered are SMALL. Contractors who
need to carry tools, equipment and workers to jobsites can't fit all
that in a hybrid. Large, tall people have no use for a dinky car like a
hybrid. Moms with lots of kids, band instruments and pets, need more
The current selection of HEVs is only good for people who are: small to
average in size, not usually requiring a lot of passenger or cargo
volume, wealthier than average, and more concerned about air pollution
than their own pocketbooks.
To avoid some of these disadvantages of hybrid electric vehicles,
automakers would have done better to try installing hybrid power plants in
SUVs and full-size pickups first. Fewer miniature components needed,
potentially less costly to engineer, and the existing customer base is
used to buying expensive vehicles.