With gas prices 13 percent higher in the summer of 2008 compared to the summer of 2007, who is not thinking of trading in the gas guzzler for a hybrid? I read that in certain driving conditions, a Toyota Prius can get 60+ miles to the gallon, and it really makes you aware of fuel-efficient driving. (See "For Hybrid Drivers, Every Trip Is A Race for Fuel Efficiency," in The Washington Post.) There's also talk of renewing and expanding the federal tax credits to $10,000 for purchasing a hybrid automobile, but it probably wouldn't take effect until the 2009 tax year at the earliest. I figure my family is spending at least $20 a week or $80 month ($960 a year) more on auto fuel in 2008 than in 2007, so we aren't likely to embark on any big road trips this year like we did last year.
I see that I could get a 2005 Toyota Prius with mileage less than 30,000 for $20,000.
I also see that Honda is hoping to compete sharply with Toyota in the hybrid market:
Honda hopes to sell about 500,000 hybrids a year by 2015 -- nine times what it sold last year -- rivaling Toyota's own goal of boosting hybrid sales to a tenth of its total sales after 2010.