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Save Money and the Planet at the Same Time

Posted on Jan 8, 2007
Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius

The higher cost of hybrid cars is worth it in the long run, according to a comprehensive new study. When considering not just fuel economy but insurance, maintenance, depreciation and other factors, a Toyota Prius owner can expect to save $13,408 over five years, compared with a non-hybrid in the same class.

Los Angeles Times:

In recent years, studies by Consumer Reports and others have shown that most hybrids won’t save owners enough money on fuel alone to make up for their higher initial prices.

But a new study by Los Angeles-based, which specializes in automotive cost-of-ownership data, says that hybrid buyers are still the winners when you factor in costs of financing, fuel, insurance, state taxes and license fees, repairs, maintenance and depreciation.

“Across the board, we found that all 22 hybrid vehicles have a better total cost of ownership over five years or 70,000 miles than the vehicles they directly compete against,” said James Bell,’s publisher.

“Hybrids are proving themselves to be an excellent alternative for car buyers,” Bell said. “Even when factoring in the additional upfront costs for their purchase, the long-term savings hybrids generate makes them a sensible and attractive purchase.”

There is no better example, the study says, than Toyota Motor Corp.‘s Prius. The study concludes that a Prius owner over five years will save $13,408 over a similar-size sedan that is not a hybrid.

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By mobitronia, January 29, 2009 at 12:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

We should consider that hybrids is not about saving cash. It’s all about the benefits of the environment, using less natural resources, less fuel, etc. Hybrids saves gas, but not sure whether they can save money.

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By jon eden, January 12, 2007 at 6:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Dr KnowItAll clearly does in this matter.

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By anechoic, January 9, 2007 at 3:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

read some of the contrary info:

is Toyota guilty of greenwashing?
interested in hearing opinions on this

clipped from comments section of the article above:
FYI- Over it’s life cycle, a Prius, from manufacturing to disposal, uses more energy and generates more greenhouse gases than a conventional compact car, due primarily to manufacturing. That’s also before Toyota ships a ton plus of car halfway around the world. See, appearances can be deceptive.

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By Bert, January 9, 2007 at 2:37 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hats off to Toyota for going for the e-gusto, and building an efficient car. I like the Smart and the Mini, too, when someone finally gets around to building a 1/2 ton e-truck, we’ll be stylin’, then. You can get Teddy Kennedy to come give speeches by your house to drive the windmill! LOL

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By n2y2, January 9, 2007 at 2:25 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

In response to Dr. Knowitall:

Moving closer to your work?  In today’s work environment people change jobs less than every 5 years (not always by their choice either).  Moving closer to work with every job change would make home ownership a losing proposition.  It is just not practical to ask the entire population to rent for their entire lives.

I drove my old car into the ground, 13 years and over 300k miles.  When it came time to replace it, I chose the Prius, figuring I could break even financially and do less damage environmentally.  As a bonus, it looks like I made a good financial investment.

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By montemalone, January 9, 2007 at 10:17 am Link to this comment
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Why does the Prius have to be so stupid looking? How about a hybrid that looks good too? I drive a convertible because it’s fun. Not funny looking.

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By jon eden, January 9, 2007 at 5:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article tells me that it is better for my pocketbook if I get a hybrid. It is also better for my pocketbook if I shop at WalMart.

I need to know more to make the least harmful ecological decision—buying no car, from an ecological point of view, is the only “right” decision.

Aldo Leopold told us what is “right” from an ecological point of view:

” A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability,
and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.


Connecting the Dots: From human behavior to ecosystem collapse

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By Eleanore Kjellberg, January 8, 2007 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Better late than never; we should have seriously developed alternative energy technologies for automobiles 30 years ago; during Carter’s administration there was an energy crisis, but after he left office all was forgotten and we reverted back to our usual oil addicted mentality.

If we had invested in research, to create alternative energy sources three decades ago, the U.S. would now be way ahead of all other countries; and the U.S. car industry would be thriving today—instead, however, we have towns in Detroit with a devastated economy, and thousands of auto workers unemployed.

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By Dr. Knowitall, PhD, PhD, January 8, 2007 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment
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The U.S. gov., auto manufacturers, banks and all the auto-related industries would love all us to run out, trade in our old clunkers and buy a new hybrid.  I can’t think of one good reason to do so, given the negative impact auto-related industries have on our environment.  The best thing people could do is to move closer to their jobs and cut back on driving the vehicles they have by about half.  Oil prices would drop, the air would get cleaner and fewer lives would be lost to traffic accidents.  Duh!  Better yet, walk.

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