First off I do not own a Prius. I do not even care for them. In my humble opinion the additional cost of purchasing one does NOT offset the gas savings. It would take 5 -10 years of normal driving to recoup the costs of buying a hybrid. My buddy has a used Honda civic that gets about 40 miles to the gallon and he paid about $5,000 for it. A far cry from the $25,000+ for a hybrid. However, if you have some yearning desire to help the environment or you have the special stickers that allow you to drive by yourself in the carpool lane then go for it! But remember tree huggers, those batteries you are lugging around will be an environmental problem all by themselves! Hybrids were created and made popular by a demand for better gas mileage and decreased pollution from burning gas. They will still cause a LOT of pollution in the future because of their batteries!
Ok, now the positive. You have all probably witnessed this before. I was walking through the Safeway parking lot and all of the sudden there was a car right on my tail and I never heard a thing… it was a Prius Hyrbid running on its batteries! I got me thinking, what a sweet urban SHTF vehicle it COULD be. It can run in a sort of stealth mode (battery power at short speeds), it can get up and go when needed (engine power) and it should run for a long time on a limited supply of stored gasoline. Yeah, I know, they are a maintenance nightmare because unless you got training from Toyota University, you don’t have a clue what’s under the hood. Well guess what suburbanites, you probably don’t have a clue what is under the hood of your car right now! If you want to subscribe to Rawles’ theories and get a mechanic in your group to rebuild a 1971 Power Wagon from the ground up for about $40,000 they go for it. But for Sam U. Urbanite, that is just not an option! We must accept that unless we take drastic and expensive measures, our vehicles are not going to last too long into a SHTF scenario when no mechanics and worse yet, NO PARTS are available.
I would be curious to know (and I am too lazy to do the research) if you could power a purely electric vehicle like Toyota RAV4 electric (now discontinued) from a solar panel setup. Are there voltage or current issues? Any readers know? That way you would not have to store volatile gasoline at your home and you would have a perpetual source of fuel to get around in your stealthy hybrid SHTF death ride!
So go get a hybrid and get it armored with run flat tiresand load it up with GPS navigation, HAM radio, CB radio and park it in an EMP proof shipping container and you have a nice insurance policy for a post apocalypse vehicle! (Insert sarcasm as applicable)
You could also wait for this new Ford concept the SYN-us? Seriously, that is what they are calling it? At least someone is looking out for the paranoid suburban car buyer!