Local and individual factors – driving conditions, cost of fuel and a car’s original sticker price – can change the economics of buying a hybrid. Not too long ago, we had Consumer Reports tell us hybrids were not good for the bank account in the long run, then Walter McManus over at Hybrid Cars recalculated some numbers and now believes that many hybrids pay off handsomely. In Australia, though, CarsGuide is warning people away form hybrids, saying it will take 100 years of driving a hybrid to save more money on fuel than you originally spent on the car.
One environmental reason why hybrids are not as good of a buy in Australia is that most of the new cars sold Down Under already produce very low emissions to comply with stringent laws that kicked in at the beginning of this year. If a gasoline-powered car already gets great mileage and doesn’t pollute all that much, why wait 100 years to save money by buying a hybrid? Buyers in Australia don’t have an answer, and hybrid sales there are “better than expected” according to CarsGuide.

[Source: CarsGuide Australia, thanks to Joel A.]

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