Two months ago, Toyota Philippines started offering the Prius for Filipinos. Stories here, here, and here.
The retail price is pegged at P2.25M, although I also heard that some dealers were selling at P2.5M. Who would spend that much money for a car?
Maybe the die-hard greenies? I don't think so. Perhaps the wealthy who want to take off a little of the guilt in buying a car so expensive in these trying times? Most likely.
But driving hybrids is not without problems.
A recent study of SF-based Quality Planning concluded:
Hybrid drivers typically drive farther, get more tickets, and have significantly more expensive insurance claims.
Can we risk the cons of having hybrids run in RP's streets in favor of the green agenda? These problems would take a long time still in presenting themselves, I assume, as the price to pay for a hybrid is just too hard on the pocketbook.
A similar story is that of the Indian-made Tata Nano, the USD 2T car that has raised issue whether making cheaper cars available for more people would actually be environmentally safe. It seems that there is a new spin though:
There has been some debate about whether providing inexpensive volume cars to millions of the world's currently car-less citizens is environmentally responsible. But the huge demand for safe, basic mobility seems likely to render the question moot.