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Hybrids…Are They Really Worth It?

How far are people willing to go and how much are they willing to pay for fuel efficiency.

With a gallon of gasoline pushing $4.00+ for regular, many of our customers are inquiring about the Honda hybrid cars.

Many of our customers seem to be very conservative in their thinking and do not jump to quick conclusions but actually study the numbers. Most of them have come to the conclusion that hybrids might not be be worth it at this time.

On the average, a hybrid Civic is about $5,000 more expensive than just a plain gasoline model Civic. If a hybrid makes 45 miles per gallon and a normal Gasoline Civic makes 35 MPG, then every 40 of driving saves the hybrid owner a gallon of gas—let’s say $4.00 per 40 miles.

If you divide the $5,000 by $4.00 which equals 1,250 and then multiply 1,250 by 40, that gives you a total of 50,000. This indicates that with a gallon of gas at $4.00 per gallon, a hybrid would have 50,000 miles on it before the perverbial “break even point” for the extra $5,000 initially paid for the purchase of the hybrid. This also does not consider the extra cost associated with the oil changes, because the hybrids use the very expensive 0w20 motor oil nor the risk of reliability associated with the new technology of the hybrids.

Incidently, we have also already had a Honda Insight come into our Service Department that needed THE BATTERY. This Insight had 150,000 miles on it and the estimate for the battery replacement was nearly $4000!!! There went the money saved on gasoline.

What do you think?


3 Responses to “Hybrids…Are They Really Worth It?”

  1. 1
    Ron Says:

    I had not thought of the higher cost compared to a Civic. I was not aware of the added costs including the batter replacement associated with a Hybrid. Are their any other costs that need to be considered in this type of investment? Do you see the next generation of Hybrids being more cost efficient?

  2. 2
    Christopher Says:

    The biggest problem with hybrids for me is the limited distance provided by battery alone. I actually think that if the major manufacturers of hybrids were to offer a plug-in version I would consider them. I mean, seriously, if GM can make the EV1 over a decade ago, surely this cant be as difficult to produce as they make it look. Even Ford had 100% electric Rangers in the 90s. If I was to get a plug in hybrid that achieved with a 100 miles on a charge and the gasoline engine prvided power only in dire circumstances, I would be far more inclined to spend the money on a hybrid. Consider that we in TN have some of the cheapest electric rates in the country (which is why Tennesseans use so much comparitively) so a hybrid plug in would really make sense for us. Our rates get even cheaper at night when we would be charging our cars. Until the plug-in hybrids are produced and warranted from the factory, I will keep my Ridgeline and Legend.

  3. 3
    ebrian Says:

    To achieve that longer range on electrical power, car manufacturers would have to increase the voltage application. That’s similar to the cordless drill. When the cordless drill was first introduced about 15 years ago, they were very low voltage (7.2 volts for Makita). The battery life between charges was horrible. Now, go to you home improvement store and the lowest voltage cordless drill is around 14 volts and your most popular units are 18 volts. The same concept comes into play with cars. If you want longer distances between charging, then operating voltage must be increased (ohms law). With the higher voltage comes larger and heavier batteries and the danger of that battery shorting-out and getting extremely hot very quickly. Couple this with the extra danger that hybrids, like any other vehicle, can be involved in car wrecks and I think we have a real mixture for danger on the road.

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