Re: Are hurricanes more damaging, or is there just more to damage?
I'm listening to hear what reliability and long term maintenance headaches turn out to be for hybrids. Assuming experience is favorable, I will definately be in the market for a hybrid for my next vehicle.
From what I've heard, hybrid technology is actually pretty reliable. I'm actually surprised, considering that just about every advance in automotive history has always come with teething problems in its earlier years of development. Things like automatic transmissions, air conditioning, overhead valve engines, higher-compression engines, the 4-speed overdrive automatics that started making the scene in the early 80's, front wheel drive, unit-body construction, fuel injection, emissions controls, electronic controls, etc. In their earlier years, these advances often added considerable complexity to the cars, ripe with opportunity to break down and add expense. So far the hybrids seem to have been pretty reliable.
Now down the road, as old used cars I'd imagine they won't be too feasible. I could imagine some $3000 part going bad on a Hybrid that doesn't even exist on a regular car. But then, that's the way it's always been. The catalytic converter on my uncle's '03 Corolla is going bad, and he's looking at at least $1000 to replace it. That's a part that might be $200 or less on an older, simpler car, or something that doesn't even exist on your typical pre-1975 car.
It's really not that hard or expensive to keep a 20+ year old car running, provided it's not something like a Jaguar, the bigger BMW's, a Rolls, etc. But I'd imagine that a 20 year old Prius, Insight, etc would be a money pit in waiting.