We can all understand and appreciate the importance of conserving energy, saving gasoline and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  One suggestion has been to increase the use of hybrids.  However, in terms of cost-effectiveness, hybrids can cost a lot more than they save in gasoline.

We developed a “calculator” that looks at all major vehicles sold in the U.S. and found that consumers will need to put about 100,000 miles per year on their hybrid in order to make the higher vehicle costs payoff in three years.  In other words, if you get a hybrid you will need to keep it a long time and/or put a lot of miles on it each year for it to be a cost-effective purchase over the vehicle’s life.  However, encouraging more driving miles can may be counterproductive to reducing gasoline consumption. 

Our conclusion is that hybrids are obviously more fuel efficient, and if that is your main goal, then buy one if you can afford it.  But, at current hybrid prices, we don’t see consumers flocking to save a little on gas.  It’s a matter of personal choice.

Try the consumer calculator on your own  — click here …. consumer calculator