Friday, September 14, 2007

Vinod Khosla doesn't understand why many people purchased hybrids

While reading VentureBeat this morning, I saw this post about Vinod Khosla's opinion on hybrid buyers. His thoughts:
But hybrid electric cars won’t succeed, he said in an interview. You have to pay $5,000 more on a Prius in order to save half a ton of carbon a year, which is more than most consumers will go for, he explained. Buying hybrids “is mostly about personal guilt trips.” It’s like wealthy investors giving money to “art museums instead of to starving people” in Africa, he said.
He forgets a couple of things. For many, buying a hybrid wasn't about making them feel less guilty, it was about saving them time and money:
  • Time: at the pump (less trips to the gas station) & in the HOV lane if you were fortunate to get the HOV stickers.
  • Money: at the pump (get much more miles for your dollar) & with those HOV stickers, you get to sail right on through the carpool lane on the bridges, saving you $4 each day. Add the gas savings and the toll savings and you have at least $1500/year for a bridge commuter.
The HOV sticker deal is long gone (but may come back...fingers crossed), but there are many reasons why people buy what they buy. Is Toyota making money from Prius sales? Yes. Is the environment better off? Yes. Are the buyers of the Prius happy consumers? Yes.

Methinks Mr. Khosla is just trying to drum up interest in the areas that he invests.

1 comment:

Who is Red Slice? said...

We own a 2006 Ford Escape Hybrid and love it. We paid about as much as we would have paid for any other car we liked, have great gas mileage (vs. regular SUV's), have a car we can use day to day and take to Tahoe when we want, save on gas...and oh, yeah, it happens to also benefit the environment. Would I have bought it if I had to sacrifice everything else? Probably not, but what's wrong with helping the Earth as a side benefit? This is the easiest way for people to combat global warming without impacting their lives that much, so why not? What do people have a problem with? In addition, this is our family's only car. I'm sick and tired of the backlash from people like Vindo that hybrids are a personal guilt trip. I still have a car and I still get around - is it such a bad thing that I chose a vehicle that also does not do as much damage to the environment as a bonus? It's no skin off of my back to do this one thing, so why not? Geesh, people....maybe YOU are the ones with the guilt trip!!