According to lifehacker, a new tool is now available to learn how long it takes for a hybrid car to save you money and how long it will take to pay off. This tool breaks down the gasoline savings for various hybrid models.
The EPA based their numbers on the following estimates, but you have the option to customize these estimates:
$2.66 per gallon estimated for regular fuel
$3.05 for premium fuel
15,000 annual miles; 55% city, 45% highway
Of course, there are other factors to consider, like insurance, maintenance, and resale value. They point out that this isn’t taken into consideration simply because those factors can vary so much. So keep in mind—these are just ballpark figures.
Click here to visit the US Department of Energy website featuring this hybrid cost and savings prediction data.
What Makes a Hybrid Car a Hybrid?
The DEA advises that "[h]ybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) combine the benefits of gasoline engines and electric motors and can be configured to obtain different objectives, such as improved fuel economy, increased power, or additional auxiliary power for electronic devices and power tools." Hybrid cars may combine any of the following technologies in order to maintain fuel efficiency and hybrid vehicle status.
- Regenerative Breaking
- Electric Motor Drive/Assist
- Fuel-Efficient System Design
- Automatic Start/Shutoff
What is the Difference Between a Mild Hybrid and a Full Hybrid Car?
Mild Hybrid Cars
The DEA advises that mild hybrids, also known as micro hybrids utilize both a battery and electric motor to power the car, and may allow the engine to shut off as the vehicle stops, which significantly benefits the hybrid car's fuel economy. These types of hybrids are not able to run solely on electricity alone, they are usually cheaper than full hybrids, but the main sacrifice is that they do not have quite the fuel economy that the full hybrid vehicles feature.
Full Hybrid Cars
Full hybrids vehicles typically have more powerful electric motors and larger batteries than the mild hybrids. Some full hybrids can travel on electricity alone for short distances or when the car is traveling at slower speeds in the city. The benefit of full hybrids is that they provide the best fuel economy, but they are typically more costly than the mild hybrids or standard vehicles.