Hybrid cars - $$ Saving

This is a double post from Bar & Grill, but I thought it warrants it's own consideration and talk. Also it seemed a little more real with rumors of $4 a gallon.

A little cost analysis for you regarding hybrids...using the Honda Insight as that's the most economical car model.

A hybrid typically costs $6,000 more than its non-hybrid counterpart (a Honda Civic).

To find out how many more miles you have to drive to make up that $6000, use the following formula

Variables for you math people:
P = Price of Gas
G = Avg. MPG of car that gets better gas mileage
L = Avg. MPG of car that gets worse gas mileage (I used 27 for my Escort)
M = Miles to drive to make up your 6000

6000 / ( P/L - P/G ) = M


Some extra analysis if you care:
1) Using the Insight(avg. 63.5 MPG):
- If gas was $2.50 a gallon: 112,734 miles
- If gas was $3 a gallon: 93,945 miles
- If gas was $3.50 a gallon: 80,524 miles
- If gas was $4 a gallon: 70,459 miles
2) Using a Civic Hybrid(avg. 48 MPG):
- If gas was $2.50 a gallon: 148,114 miles
- If gas was $3 a gallon: 123,428 miles
- If gas was $3.50 a gallon: 105,796 miles
- If gas was $4 a gallon: 92,571 miles

So basically, if gas prices go higher then it's good for you (as you recuperate that money faster). The bad thing is that you have to drive a long ways to make that money up (which isn't much of a problem for a chaser that goes cross country).

With skyrocketing gas prices, now is the time to make up that money you'd save. It's either that or a smart car - www.smart.com/smart_uk/smart_uk_start.html
 
The caveat with hybrids is that the fuel economy during highway driving is not much better than conventional vehicles, because at highway speeds, the engine is providing the bulk of the power rather than the motors.

So, from what I understand, the benefits of a hybrid would be minimal for a chaser going on long-haul trips.
 
Dan, you are basically correct. I am a finance manager at a Ford dealership and we just recently received our first Escape Hybrid. It is a very cool vehicle and will save you mucho bucks IF you never go higher than 30 mph. After 30 the engine kicks in and it is the same as any other vehicle. It is perfect for stop and go driving on freeways in big cities, but does not do much for long haul or up to speed highway driving. One of the draw backs of the Hybrid is that when you are driving under 30 and on battery mode you can not operate the A/C on max setting. So in hot climates, sitting in traffic, you will be very warm inside your vehicle. Still, it is a nice thing to see that car manufacturers are getting into the hybrid business. The technology will eventually catch up with our needs.
 
Welcome the 2006 Honda Civic Hybrid
(should be introduced tomorrow I hear)

50/50mpg within City/Highway.

In addition, this car will also feature two compressors for AC. A normal one, and a smaller electrical one. When in "hybrid mode" (so say sitting at a stoplight or what not), the AC will switch over the the electrical compressor. Yes, flow will be decreased, but AC will still be functional and with little hit on mpg.


If I can swing it (the extra $$$), i'll be going hybrid for my next vehicle (before next chase season). Gov. tax rebates around $2-3k will certainly help.

Aaron
 
This is a good question, since gas is so expensive, at these times. Hybrid cars actually in reality save more fuel on the interstate/straight shot, than around town...so these may affect decisions...
 
Originally posted by Andrew Khan
Hybrid cars actually in reality save more fuel on the interstate/straight shot, than around town...
Actually it is the opposite, as Dan and Mike stated above.
 
Interesting Andrew... there is a whole segment of hybrid users that "hypermile." The definition of hypermiling is to get over the EPA mpg estimate. They've learned a variety of techniques to maximize performance of the electric motor.

Aaron
 
One thing I think that would have to be factored in is repair and maintenance costs. That could easily upset the balance. This is rather new technology, while gasoline engine design has been refined and tweaked to near-perfection.

Tim
 
Are these hybrids as heavy as conventional vehicles? Or will their lighter weight/better MPG design make us more succeptible to being blown over by a 50mph gust? lol
 
It was a report that said, that, not ALL hybrid cars were as good as you think, but surely some are, of course...I believe it was Consumer Report...It said the EPA even discouraged it...of course so they would get more money...
 
Many of the hybrids with >50mpg fuel economy were designed from the ground up to be fuel efficient. I mean, one look at the Prius, and you can see this to be true. Aerodynamics, etc. Those vehicles that are essentially non-hybrids but with hybrid technology (such as the Accord) don't have the huge fuel economy gains as those vehicles that were designed for extreme economy.
 
I'm from Canada where gas is already $5 per gallon ($1.25-$1.50 per liter) and I don't plan on getting a hybrid, due to the fact that there's way too much stuff that could fail and make for a very costly repair bill. But there is another way such as a VW Jetta TDi that gets 1,000 km (621 mi) per tank.
 
I don't plan on getting a hybrid, due to the fact that there's way too much stuff that could fail and make for a very costly repair bill.


Actually, the Ford Escape Hybrid comes with the standard 3 year 36,000 mile factory warranty and a 8 year 100,000 mile warranty on the hybrid parts such as the battery, eCVT and the DC/DC converter. In 8 states, which include California and New York, the hybrid part of the warranty is 10 years 150,000 miles. So, the repairs on a hybrid Ford would not be any more than on a standard vehicle because all of the "new technology" is covered by an extremely long warranty. Just some insight.
 
I've been looking at the Escape hybrid. What makes me hesitate is that the Ford extended service plan isn't available, as I understand it. I've had the ESP on my current Focus, and it's been a good deal. Also, after rebates and discounts (or lack thereof) it's almost $10k more expensive than the conventional Escape. An advantage of the Escape hybrid for chasing is a high-power 110v source is available without customization.

Personally, if I were buying a chase-friendly, economical vehicle right now, I'd get the Focus wagon. It has a 14g tank and 30mpg real-world mileage, 110A alternator, and reasonable room for passengers and cargo.
 
What makes me hesitate is that the Ford extended service plan isn't available, as I understand it.

Just FYI, the Ford ESP is available on the Hybrid. In fact, it is the same cost as an ESP for a conventional Escape.

You are exactly right about having a 110v source included. It is just a standard two prong plug, I can't remember if it is one or two plugs, right next to the center console shifter. Very nice to have for equipment.

Personally, if I were buying a chase-friendly, economical vehicle right now, I'd get the Focus wagon.

A fine choice indeed.
 
Originally posted by Mike Parker
Actually, the Ford Escape Hybrid comes with the standard 3 year 36,000 mile factory warranty and a 8 year 100,000 mile warranty on the hybrid parts such as the battery, eCVT and the DC/DC converter. In 8 states, which include California and New York, the hybrid part of the warranty is 10 years 150,000 miles. So, the repairs on a hybrid Ford would not be any more than on a standard vehicle because all of the \"new technology\" is covered by an extremely long warranty. Just some insight.



But there's still the lack of a manual transmission.
 
What would you want a manual transmission for on a hybrid??? My Focus sedan is a 5-speed and I've always driven manuals. It's nice to be able to push- and hill-start, etc., but that doesn't apply with a hybrid. It would also be nice to have your right hand free to twiddle knobs, dial cellphones, adjust cams, etc. Less distraction in situations where you should be concentrating on driving as much as possible. Also no clutches to wear out -- a non-warranty item that costs a bunch to replace.
 
Don't get me wrong, I think hybrids are really cool but if you do the math you wont save any money.

Take two identical cars. One is the hybrid version, the other is just the regular version. I'm looking at the Ford Escape. Regular version is $20,000, hybrid version is $27,000. At the inflated $3 per gallon that extra $7000 will buy you 2300 gallons of gasoline. It would take years to make up that $7000 premium you paid for the hybrid version.

Now, if you were in the market for a $27,000 car to begin with it makes since.
 
Originally posted by j_scheerer
I'm a 22 year old who's first love is performance cars... So I need a stick shift.

If your looking for a real sports car, stay clear of hybrids. Save your money and get a REAL gas guzzler.
 
yeah i miss driving my 8 mpg hot rod chevy... :? Just a few years ago (98?) when gas was .89/gal I drove taht thing every where. Low gears, 4000rpms at 70 mph. talk about a gas hog. oh and the engine has 11:1 compression so I had to run 98 octane... those were the days.

Even now I'm startin gto look into a more fuel efficient vehicle but somehting that still has some power.

If the freakin' jeep liberty wasn't so ugly I'd get the one with the Common rail diesel.
 
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