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Thread: Prius Payback

  1. #1
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    Prius Payback

    I've only visited this site a few times, and received the newsletter a few more times, but I am already impressed with the information and postings provided here. My sister was the first in our family to buy a 2004 model Prius, which she received in March of this year. (By the way, she has been averaging around 50 mpg combined, drinving in the Cleveland, OH area for 8000 miles). My brother and I each have one on order and my brother's wife bought a hybrid Civic last year--which she now likes much less after seeing my sister's Prius--which is why my brother ordered one.

    I have seen several articles, in print and on the web, stating that most hybrid vehicle buyers won't get a payback on their investment. I don't believe that is true.

    Regarding the simple payback of buying a hybrid, it is tempting--probably for oil company execs--to compare the cheapest Camry with the Prius, to make payback look bad. However, there are several low-end Camrys (from the Toyota website) that are base-priced higher than the Prius, so it is possible to make a case that the Prius is actually less expensive than its non-hybrid counterpart.

    In my payback analysis, I am conservatively assuming a $2000 price premium for the Prius, and knowing that I drive 375 miles per week, I will pay back the hybrid "premium" in roughly 3-3.5 years, at $2.00/gal gasoline. That's a 20-25% return on my investment! Which is a lot better return than I am likely to get in any other investment. I think any analyses one reads that show you won't pay back the hybrid premium, needs to be looked at very skeptically (being an engineering researcher, that's my job). I realize some people may think $2.00/gal gasoline will be only short lived, but I would remind them that, in Fall 1998 many Wall St. pundits were predicting the end to expensive oil, and that $10/bbl oil was here to stay. Also, hybrid owners are reducing our country's dependence on foreign oil, reducing pollution, reducing (the increase in) health care costs, and reducing global warming potential. These savings are difficult to quantify (the Union of Concerned Scientists and other groups have tried) but they are nevertheless real savings.

    Can't wait to start taking data on my new Prius...which may not get here until Spring.... :-(



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  3. #2
    Guest

    Prius Payback

    I had a 03 WRX and I commute 55 miles each way to work and my wife (3rd Shift) commutes 25 miles each way. I was spending $80-$120 a week in gas depending on how many out of office appointments I had. This week I only spent $33.00 and that included my wife using twice for work.

    I am saving a ton of $$$. Enough to make the payment on the car. The car is paying for itself!!!!!!

    I love this car althuogh the interior colors are too light - might as well have wihte seats. With kids it will look like hell in 2 years.

  4. #3
    Guest

    Prius Payback

    As with most journeys in life, it depends on where your starting point is. Since the Prius does not come in a non-hybrid flavor (as does the Civic, Accord, Highlander, etc) it is difficult to do a model by model comparison. Most in the industry compare the Prius to a similarly optioned Corolla, since the size and chassis components are most similar to Corolla. From that aspect, a top of the line Corolla starts at $17,555. Prius starts at $20,795. Probably a more fair comparison is to compare the Lexus RX330 ($38,075 for AWD) to Lexus R400h ($49,060 for eAWD Hybrid). After you price up the RX330 to include Nav System and Performance package that are standard in the R400h, you still have about a $5,200 differential.

    Most people will, of course, compare their hybrid choice to whatever their second choice vehicle, so as the old adage goes, ymmv (your mileage may vary) [pretend there are smilies following that weak pun]

  5. #4
    Guest

    Prius Payback

    I've saved not only hundreds of dollars on gas, but many hours NOT spent being lost in new places. If your brother hasn't already done so, urge him to include GPS and Bluetooth hands-free phone in his requested options. It's so much safer than peering at a map or fumbling for your ringing phone to control those information points with your fingertips, at the steering wheel.

    But yeah, the interior colors are way too light. And if you get the extra airbags, you can't even add seat covers. Maybe it's Toyota's way of encouraging new buyers to choose leather seats...

  6. #5
    Guest

    It's pretty easy - just do

    It's pretty easy - just do the math.

    16.7 MPG in my Jeep Grand Cherokee vs
    47 MPG in my Prius @ 20,000 miles annually @ $4 a gallon

    1197 gallons = 20,000 @ 16.7 MPG

    425 gallons = 20,000 @ 47 MPG

    772 difference or $3,088 or

    Monthly savings $257.00

  7. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    0

    Given 375 miles

    Given 375 miles driven/week

    At $4/gal you save $45/week driving at 50mpg instead of 20mpg
    That's $2,340/year in fuel cost saved

    At $5/gal you save $56/week, or $2,900/year. That would be a 20 month break even if the Prius cost you $5,000 more than a non-Hybrid car.

    Of course, if fuel costs drop down below $2 a gallon, you will loose your shirt. So I guess you just have to take your chances that gas does not become cheap anytime in our lifetimes.

  8. #7
    Guest

    ya this is not a true that a

    ya this is not a true that a several articles, in print and on the web, stating that most hybrid vehicle buyers won't get a payback on their investment.its a nice blog and so nice information share by you....

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