What matters in a hybrid: financial value or something else?

A recent study compared hybrid models to their traditional counterpart models and found that the hybrids are not a very good value:

Everyone knows hybrids get better fuel economy and emit less CO2 than their conventional counterparts, but they also cost more because of the added technology. And that makes them a lousy value because you won’t recoup that added cost in fuel savings.

So say the car gurus at CarGurus.com, who repeat a common argument against hybrids but back it up with some stats. They examined the purchase price and operating costs of 45 popular hybrid models and discovered the average gas-electric automobiles costs 25 percent more to own and operate than its gasoline-only sibling.

This may help explain why hybrids still are only a small part of the market – just under 3% according to this study.

But for those who currently drive hybrids, is financial value the primary reason? While this seems to be key to the larger market, I would guess there are a lot of current hybrid drivers who drive them for other reasons like being (or perhaps appearing) green. If more people truly wanted to be green or were worried about pollution from cars as opposed to saving money, then they would probably purchase more hybrids.