PHILADELPHIA – The city of Philadelphia recently purchased 20 hybrid Ford Escapes to add to the six Toyota Priuses already in its 6,000-vehicle fleet in an effort to improved air quality, according to the Associated Press. However, according to James Muller, Philadelphia’s fleet manager, the city is paying more in initial costs of the hybrids. “That’s what we’re finding with the initial cost ... it doesn’t wash out,” said Muller as quotes in the Associated Press article. “You’re actually paying more money.” Officials in Ann Arbor, Mich., decided not to add hybrids to their fleet after determining the costs would outweigh the benefits. And while some fleets are deciding not to take the initial cost hit of hybrids, the Associate Press article detailed many city fleets that are implementing the hybrids and are willing to wait to absorb the upfront cost increase:
  • In New York, hybrids were added to the fleet after a city mandate required the purchase of the cleanest vehicle available.
  • Oregon’s Department of Administration Services has 3,000 vehicles — 123 of them hybrids.

    Manufacturers do say that hybrid prices will decrease as more are manufactured, and government incentives, tax credits, and increasing the overall production of vehicles and parts will help offset the cost.