We can't all buy hybrids

Hybrid cars are seen as the solution to American dependence on oil and a boon for the environment. New York state has a host of tax incentives for people who own hybrid cars. The only problem is that the cost of hybrid cars puts them out of the reach of people who are hit hardest by rising fuel prices. "Hybrid cars cost an average of $2,500 to $3,000 more than comparably equipped gasoline vehicles."

A hybrid Honda Accord costs about $3,800 more than the comparable non-hybrid version, including purchase, maintenance and insurance costs. Over five years, assuming 15,000 miles of driving per year, you'll make up that cost in gasoline money if the price of gas goes up immediately to $9.20 a gallon and averages that for the whole period.

When you're already cinching your belt a little tighter and pinching pennies to pay the mortgage/rent, pay the energy bills, and keep the kids clothed, fed, and educated that's a pretty steep price to pay.

Most energy saving and environmentally friendly measures are prohibitively expensive for the average American. Giving a tax break for buying into these expensive measures isn't going to help the people who most need it or the environment.

If the environmentalist movement wants to make headway in America they need to come up with solutions that don't treat the average American as if their needs are unimportant. So here's the challenge for any self confessed environmentalists who may be reading this. What practical real life solutions do you have for average Americans who need to take care of their families and want to be mindful of preserving their local natural environments?

See also:
Hybrid car tax incentives (state and federal).
Hybrids: Save gas, lose money


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