NY Times – The Cost of Higher Fuel Economy
I’ll insert a disclaimer here and say that I expect some controversy over the numbers. For instance, you can easily price compare a hybrid and non-hybrid versions of some of the cars, such as the Civic, Camry, Escape, etc. But how do you compare a Prius to another, non-hybrid Toyota to establish the price difference and payback time? There isn’t an exact model that matches the Prius in every way. That can throw a big monkey wrench into the payback figures.
At present fuel prices I’m not sure any car on the list with a payback period beyond about 5 years makes economic sense for an average driver who puts 12,000 miles a year on the odometer.
Toyota’s hybrid drive is good stuff. The technology is proven and the price is right. A 1.8 year payback is darned reasonable, and that’s without any government incentives.
I hadn’t heard about Lincoln’s hybrid system, but they even outdid the Prius.
The Jetta TDI shows what a modern diesel can do.