How Is a Prius Like a Porsche?
Wired's Autopia blogger John Gartner explains the appeal of hybrids. It's not rational but essentially aesthetic:
While gearheads will pay more for the extra power off the line, we hybrid owners get our jollies from passing by the pump while guzzlers have to visit the Qwik Stop 3 times per week. Just like Porsches and Mustangs, hybrids aren't going away, so those who don't like them will just have to give it a rest.
I don't think it's coincidental that the Prius took off only after Toyota abandoned its initial design strategy, making the hybrid look like an ordinary Toyota, for something cooler. Who wants a hybrid that looks like this?
At some point, of course, rational calculation does enter the equation. Since I drive my car only about 3,500 miles a year, I didn't even look at hybrids.