Hybrids Taking Fewer Years to Pay Off

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The Department of Energy recently announced that it expects gas prices to peak sometime in early June at a national average of $3.73 per gallon. This would be good news — at least drivers could see a light at the end of the tunnel — were it not May 12 with the national average already at $3.71 per gallon.

Given that the price of gas has risen a penny a day (35 cents total) over the past month, a peak of $3.73 sounds, shall we say, optimistic?

As the cost of fuel increases, the benefits of buying a hybrid vehicle become more immediate. It used to take as long as five years for a hybrid to pay for itself in fuel savings, but with the price of gas spiking, that time has been cut drastically. According to USA Today, versus similarly equipped gasoline models the higher cost of a Toyota Prius would now pay for itself in 2.6 years, while a Toyota Camry Hybrid would earn back the extra dough in just 1.7.

Other hybrids, like the Nissan Altima, Mercury Mariner and GMC Yukon, can take between three and five years to recoup their higher cost, while the extravagant Lexus LS 600h, with a sticker price just north of $100,000, would take 102 years.

Hybrids Recoup Higher Cost in Less Time (USA Today)

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