My Parents and the Pleasures of Owning a Prius in Israel

green prius israel

My parents are not your typical candidates for owning a hybrid car. They’ve been loyal owners of gas-guzzling Volvos for at least 20 years, replacing one trusty, sensible Volvo with another about once a decade. So it was quite a pleasant surprise when they announced 8 months ago that they were going to turn in their 14 year old Volvo station wagon for a Prius.

And 8 months later they’re considering replacing their other Volvo for a Prius, too.

My mom initially considered buying a Prius because her place of work had moved an extra 20 minutes away and she figured that with the extra commute, a more fuel efficient car would make sense. My dad wasn’t having it. It took some convincing to get him to change his old Volvo ways, but once he saw that the Prius was not only a fuel efficient car but a car with some “oomph” (his term, not mine) they decided to check it out.

The small (yet surprisingly roomy), powerful (yet quiet), and fuel efficient Prius prevailed. Now the two of them always use the Prius as their vehicle of choice.

Driving a hybrid car is definitely better for the environment than a regular car, but my parents’ reasons for purchasing a Prius weren’t entirely green.

The gas prices in Israel (which are currently around $9 a gallon) and a tax benefit for buying a hybrid gave them that extra push. The tax on new automobiles is a whopping 100% percent in Israel (yeah, that’s right) and if you’re considering buying a new car, whatever tax benefit you can get helps. And as for the fuel efficiency? Well, like my mother says, she fills the car up with gas around once every two weeks – and even then, it’s only because she feels sorry for the poor little Prius. Not because it really needs it.

Maybe it’s only because I’m more aware of them now than I was before, but I do see more and more hybrid cars on the streets. Between hybrids, electric cars, and public transportation, I hope to keep seeing fewer and fewer gas guzzlers out there.

Read more on electric cars

Hybrid Cab Fleet Taking Over Tel Aviv?

The Electric Car Hype Intensifies

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16 thoughts on “My Parents and the Pleasures of Owning a Prius in Israel”

  1. rc auto says:

    The world is running out of gasoline every body needs to drive a prius

  2. Pingback: Karin Kloosterman
  3. James says:

    sorry, that should be TOYOTA Prius….. (its cos I drive a Honda….)

  4. James says:

    hey – Hybrid enthusiasts & sceptics alike: just spotted this from The Guardian website –
    this week readers are invited to post questions for the Honda Prius designers….

    go for it!

  5. judy says:

    The Honda Insight is a less expensive option at 130,000 NIS – and it is a great car with plenty of oomph – we traded in a Honda EX 2200. BTW – Prius is closer to 150,000 NIS.

  6. love the prius, even with lower gas prices, the efficiency of a electric engine is much better than a standard engine. so electric powered cars are the future

  7. Yeah, the Prius is surprisingly powerful (especially in 2nd gear). It was a shocker because I’ve been in another hybrid and the lower-end power is almost unheard of. Not only is the Prius a good fit for the long-commute driver, but it’s amazing when you’re just driving around town. Considering this is coming from the states, I can only imagine how much more of a relief a hybrid such as this model can be a real benefit in other countries like Isreal. True, the tax on the car is outrageous, but when you nickel-and-dime it given a 3-5 year span, you’ll see that the savings pays for the tax at least 5 times over. As far as filling up every two weeks, I think those of us who still use purely gas vehicles can attest to the fact that going that long w/o a fillup is a dream. It won’t be long until every new car comes standard for a hybrid. It’ll be a permanent fixture like the seat belt was law in the ’90’s or when cars all changed to unleaded in ’75.

  8. Good to see Hybrids are becoming popular everywhere!

  9. I’ve heard about NIS 140,000. That’s a lot of dough. But imagine the savings on gas.
    – Karin

  10. avi says:

    How much do these Prius go for currently in Israel?

  11. It’s good to hear about green going mainstream… now if they could only make the manufacturing of the hybrid more efficient…

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