November 16, 2009
Not all Hybrids Bring High Fuel Economy
There was an interesting article in the Portland Tribune stating that not all hybrids are created equal.
In 2001 the Prius was the first to use a hybrid, gasoline-electric powertrain. Now virtually every manufacturer is offering at least one hybrid, and most of the others are developing them.
But some hybrids are better for the environment than others. Depending on the model, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency currently rates them from a high of 50 miles per gallon for the Toyota Prius to a low of 20 miles per gallon for a Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. The Honda Insight and Civic Hybrid get around 42 miles per gallon, followed by various Ford, Toyota and Nissan models that get about 36 miles per gallon.
There are several different types of hybrids out there, and the way they mix the basic elements greatly affect their economy. Most automotive authorities break them down as follows:
- Unique-model hybrids
- Full hybrids
- Mild hybrids
- Muscle hybrids
- Plug-in hybrids
Despite the different types of hybrids, common sense applies when figuring out which ones get the best mileage. Smaller is generally better. Although the mid-size Prius is the champ, the compact Honda Insight and Civic are next best. Less economical are the mid-size Ford Fusion Hybrid, Mercury Milan Hybrid, Lexus HS 250h and Toyota Camry Hybrid, which range from 39 to 33 miles per gallon. Worst are the big hybrid trucks and SUVs, like the lowest-rated Escalade Hybrid.
Both the cost and mileage need to be taken into account when choosing a hybrid. The cost of hybrids are outrageous when compared to a gasoline powered vehicle. When gas prices were high it was worth it and it paid off to own a hybrid but now that the gas prices are down, its not worth it. The pay off for a hybrid will come a lot quicker if gasoline prices soar up to $4 again.