As for hybrids, a Toyota Prius is rated at 48 MPG in the city. The 2010 models are supposed to approach 60 MPG in the city. The 94 Civics are rated at 25 to 39 in the city, depending on model. That's not a tie, that's a clear win for the hybrids IMO. They really only tie in the highway ratings.
I live in Tucson. It's a medium sized city sprawled out over many miles of area. The cost per capita to truly cover the grid that is Tucson and the surrounding areas well enough that people would not need cars would be enough to bankrupt very individual living in Tucson. Instead we make do with some bus lines that move along major routes to a few major locations and it will take you a couple of hours to get across town.
If this was about reducing emissions, they would pay more to get older, dirtier, and less fuel efficient cars off the road. The worse the mpg, the more they would pay. This is about encouraging people that proved they have the money to buy a newer car to cycle into another newer car a lot sooner than they would. It's proof this is about encouraging consumerism, not ecology.
BYD's hybrid car has a small gasoline engine as a back up.
Okay, I'll bite - what does Apple's phone do that Nokia's don't?
The iTunes store.