Bank of America, Google, and Timberland are all offering their employees cash rebates if they buy hybrid vehicles. The rebate ranges from $3000 for Bank of America and Timberland to $5000 for Google. An employee, if eligible (Bank of America currently restricts which locations participate in the plan), from one of those companies, could also receive in excess of $3000 in the form of government tax credits. For example, a Google employee could purchase a brand new 2006 Toyota Prius, and get $8,150 back. If that doesn't make it cost effective to purchase a hybrid, I don't know what will.
I'm thrilled to see companies doing this. These incentives are solving the age old problem of the early adoption costs preventing a new technology from being able to achieve economies of scale in a timely manner. It is priming the pump (pun intended) on the economies of scale needed for these new vehicles to be offered at a competitive price without rebates and tax credits. Read more here.