Measuring Cost vs. Savings in a Hybrid

By Max Resnik

May 5, 2011 Updated May 5, 2011 at 6:19 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – Indiana’s NewsCenter is continuing to look for ways to help you save at the pump. Tonight, we break down how much your pocketbook can be impacted by investing in a fuel efficient vehicle or a hybrid.

We know prices at the pump are leading to what seems to be a never-ending pain for your pocketbook. The right response could be upgrading, or in some cases, downsizing to a vehicle that gets better gas mileage.

Many consumers have trouble deciding between conventional transportation by an all gas-powered vehicle and a partly electric hybrid. Steve Mann with Dimension Ford in Fort Wayne says you shouldn’t be fooled by any myths.

He says, “The charging systems are better. The batteries are better. The electric motors are better that are used. And you really don't have nearly the service issues with hybrids now that you would've had maybe eight, nine, 10 years ago.”

Maybe the hybrid isn’t in your budget, but after some calculations, the hybrid could prove to be a sound investment. Using our calculator, provided by the US Department of Energy, we can better understand just how much can be saved.

For example, take a vehicle that gets 20 mpg. Set the gas at $4.00/gallon, mileage at 15,000/year and figure you will own your car for five years. In one year, you will pay $3,000 in fuel costs. In five years, you will pay $15,000 in fuel costs.

Now, upgrade to a vehicle that gets 30 mpg. Keeping all other factors constant, you would only pay $2,000 in fuel costs in one year. In five years, you would pay $10,000 in fuel costs.

What would you do with an extra $5,000?

Check out the “Cost vs Savings-Hybrid” link on this story. It will take you to the cost versus savings calculator where you can find out for yourself how much you can save with an upgrade.

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