The article says "people buying a car in 2011". Maybe the shoppers either had not had the car long enough to see the difference, or had older hybrids that were not as magical. He is in the cult of Prius, but my brother did the math and his car would pay for the hybrid upgrade if he keeps the car for a certain number of years. Not 20 years, but more than 2 or 3 for sure. Less time than he expected to keep the car. I know his math was also based on fuel prices less than we have seen in the few years he has had his Prius, so he should be ahead of the estimates. He's also somebody that does not flinch at the concept of keeping a car for 10 years. One thing environmental car people say is that the more efficient car is probably the one that already exists, and not the one you are building from scratch. Buying a new Prius every 2 years is maybe not the best thing for the world (unless the used car is trickling down to somewhere replace super gas guzzlers). In the purely environmental impact sense you are better with an 80s VW diesel or an older little Honda.... because they are already built.