Just Like Paris Hilton, USA Today Loves Hybrids

Okay, we’ve all heard that hybrid vehicles are better for the environment. But how do they measure up when it comes to the green in your wallet?

Even starlet Paris Hilton has boarded the hybrid bandwagon, as reported by BPM Magazine.

“I came in a hybrid car because I think that’s the way to go – to save energy and to save our earth from all this – you know pollution so I think if everyone just takes the steps to do it will make a difference,” said Hilton.

However, Hilton probably wouldn’t be as concerned about the cost of owning one of these hybrids as average people.  But you wouldn’t be aware of any higher costs after reading Chris Woodyard’s August 8 USA Today story.

“It’s not just good public relations,” wrote Woodyard. “Since the Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the EPA can regulate greenhouse gases, General Motors, Ford Motor and Chrysler have joined the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, a coalition of corporate executives calling for CO2 restrictions.”

It would be even better public relations if hybrids made economic sense, but they don’t. It turns out hybrids cost more to maintain than regular cars.

According to Vicentric, a company that compiles and analyzes data on different automobiles. Over a five year period it is roughly 10 percent more expensive to own the 2007 Honda Civic Hybrid model over a similar non-hybrid model. That includes lower fuel costs and tax incentives of hybrid ownership.

That doesn’t even include the original cost of the vehicle and most people know that hybrids cost more right from the get-go. The version compared by Vicentric had a manufacturer suggested retail price of $22,600. The non-hybrid’s price tag was a much lower $15,810.

Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour
Julia A. Seymour is the Assistant Managing Editor for the MRC's Business and Media Institute.