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Daniel Harbison ASKED THE GUIDE

Hybrid overrated

I RECENTLY drove a Toyota Prius and was completely underwhelmed. This car is desperately expensive considering what you get. The Prius claims to get 4.4 litres for 100km, which is great, except a small diesel, such as a Fiat Punto, will do 4.6 litres/100km. Furthermore, after five years batteries must be thrown away and replaced. It would make more financial sense to buy a new car than replace these expensive batteries.

HYBRIDS are only a part of the picture. I'm not convinced they are the answer to our woes. We are still waiting for the long-term answer, which might be hydrogen fuel cells. A small diesel is almost as economical as the hybrid, it's just not as clean. The best solution for most people is to downsize to smaller cars powered by small petrol engines. As for the batteries, Toyota claims they last the life of the car.