Hybrid automobiles are ugly. The Honda insight, which will presumably be successful, is no exception.
The Honda insight is a mirror image of the Toyota Prius and equally hard on the eyes.
People don’t buy Hybrids for the energy savings; at least those that can do math. Relative to comparably-sized cars, you can’t drive a Hybrid enough miles to make up the difference in cost or to mitigate the environmental impact of manufacture and disposal.
Anyone want Nickel Metal Hydride in their back yard?
People buy Hybrids because they want to make a statement. They want a pat on the back and a place to put their Franken sticker.
Honda acknowledged poor sales of the previous generation Honda Accord Hybrid and ceased its production: they had not adequately “differentiated” the Hybrid variant. Read: not ugly enough.
Even the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid was accompanied by a memo to dealerships assuring them that the unsightly “Hybrid” monikers and badges could be removed without cosmetic damage for well-heeled but less conspicuous tree-huggers.
Being “Green” – or at least looking “Green” is big business and consumers willingly pony up, even when the costs are too high and the benefit negligible.