Hybrids Are Now Almost Mainstream

Moose MoselyHybrids have gone well beyond the image as the car for the environmentally pious to own.

These days  you see all types of individuals driving these fuel efficient cars, because everyone of these drivers knows that every gallon of gas you avoid consuming takes 20 pounds of CO2 out of your footprint – a big slice off your overall footprint.

Today, there are 31 passenger car models in the U.S., (both hybrid and electric) offered by Ford (6), GM (2), Honda (6), Mitsubishi (1), Nissan (1) Porsche (2), Toyota (9), Volkswagen (1), Tesla (3).

Approximately (8.5%) of all cars 500,000 (Clean Technica) of the 6,000,000 (WSJ) passenger cars projected to be sold in 2013 will be really fuel efficient – hybrid or electric.   Still to small of a percentage, in our opinion.


Since the Honda Insight first hit the U.S. market in 1999, hybrid styles, colors and core functions have been constantly adjusting and improving to fit the growing needs of consumers.   So far in 2013, the Toyota Prius is 15th amongst the Top 20 best selling cars (the only hybrid I could find in the Top 20)  Toyota smartly broadened the appeal of the Prius and no offers four different models of the Prius to accommodate the young urban dweller, the classic lift back, the new mini-station wagon version and even a plug-in that gets nearly 100 miles per gallon.

Now even the biggest and brawniest dogs can fit comfortably inside and still imagine they’re driving their gas-guzzling trucks.   My buddies owners bought a Prius V (largest – mini van type) to accommodate my two romping mates, both large golden retrievers.

Practically every car manufacturer, whether domestic or imported, now has a hybrid in its lineup. No matter what you’re looking for — whether a small compact car, a sports car, a performance car, even an SUV or truck — chances are you can find a hybrid in the type of vehicle you want.

Typically, these hybrids come at a premium price, however, a few manufacturers offer a baseline, economy model that have zip, but sip the fuel.   Two of the top economy hybrid models in our opinion are the Honda Fit and the new Prius C, both sporty hybrids.

But exactly what is it about hybrids that has us green-living enthusiasts so intrigued?

Here are just a few reasons why we want to give up the gas-guzzler for a hybrid:

1. Carbon  – This single, major purchase can unequivocally have the largest impact in reducing your carbon footprint, simply because hybrids use considerably less gas and release far fewer emissions than non-green cars. In fact, within just one day of driving time, you can decrease your fuel consumption by 200 percent. If you’re currently driving a 15 mpg SUV and switch to a Prius at 50 mpg, that’s a 230 percent decrease in the amount of fuel you’ll consume (and you’ll reduce your carbon output by the same amount…maybe even more!).

2. Price – As we all know, the automobile industry has taken a huge hit during this current economic downturn. Sales of hybrid cars have correspondingly dipped this year by 18 percent, compared to 2012 numbers. While hybrid prices continue to fall, sales in the overall car market have increased by over 14 percent. Lower gas prices are partially responsible for the decreased sales of hybrids, but we all know how fickle those gas prices can be. Now, in a bid to get rid of the hybrid cars left on the lot, many dealers are willing to offer attractive prices and financing to hybrid buyers. In fact, Green Blizzard was offered zero-percent financing for its new company car. 

3. Noise – When stopped at those long traffic lights, hybrids automatically turn off the combustion engine and switch over to battery power. In addition, the tires are more fuel efficient and generate less road noise, compared to most honking, over-built American tires that are designed for rugged dirt roads, yet usually never leave the smooth asphalt. But most importantly, your purchase of a hybrid sends an important message to the car-manufacturing executives and your fellow road warriors. You’re telling them that you don’t identify with the glitter, supposedly-sexy, power image cars that they are trying to sell and continuing to buy. Instead, you’d rather divert your gas money to other worthwhile uses and single-handedly slice a huge chunk out of your personal carbon footprint.

Here are some other Green Blizzard articles about getting around town and lowering your carbon footprint in the process: Car Color – Light vs. Dark,   Top 10 Worst Carbon Footprint Sports,   Bike Friendly Cities Mass Transit: Shrink Your Carbon Footprint, and  UPS Green. 





About the author

Moose Mosely

Moose, (yes, that's his everyday name - at least as far as we know), writes about all sorts of green living insights. Every minute, every decision we make in our lives has some impact to our personal carbon footprint, and Moose is there to share some insights on its impact and relevance and suggests healthier alternatives.