How Long Does it Take to Make Up the Difference ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: How Long Does it Take to Make Up the Difference

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

How Long Does it Take to Make Up the Difference

When I first started looking at hybrid cars, I did a quick calculation on fuel savings. I quickly realized that the difference in gas savings was not enough to pay back the premium on the hybrid technology. It's a very simple analysis, and one I bet every person who has considered buying a hybrid has done. Too bad it's not the right thing to do.

It's just naive.

And yet, I just saw the same analysis done by PIN Insights (pdf), published by Power Information Network, a division of J.D. Power and Associates. I would have thought such a well regarded source of car information would know better.

In their analysis, they point out it would take anywhere from 8 to 301 years to offset the premium price for the hybrid technology depending on the price of gas (they used $3.23 or $4.00) and the car itself.

What foolishness.

Did they bother to factor in the lower cost of maintenance (fewer oil changes and brake work)? What about insurance breaks (some insurance companies offer discounts to anyone with a hybrid. Although, to be fair, in a lot of cases, you would pay more for insurance since the vehicle costs more to purchase. The same goes for any taxes you would have to pay).

What about tax breaks (federal, state or local)? What about free parking or access to the HOV lane?

And what about the single most important factor when it comes to the cost of ownership, i.e. the price you get when you sell your used car? I'm sure they're aware that a most hybrids hold up extremely well when it comes to the used car market. Even if you left the rest out out of uncertainty about which ones would apply to who, why not at least factor that in?

When intellichoice did a more robust analysis of the cost they found that buying a hybrid would save you money in the long run. Even a mild hybrid would save you money in as little as five years time.

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at

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