Alternative Fuel Cars Need Time to Pay Off


As many more individuals purchase hybrid or electric cars, they have become savvy with the technology. In the face of ever increasing gas pump prices, many have started to compare their mileage with the costs.

With the comparison, many have become satisfied with their initial investments. This trend is ever increasing as many more Americans are looking for a fuel-efficient vehicle to help in easing with the difficulties because of increasing fuel process. With the many options and opportunities available in the market today, this has become a reality because hybrid and electric platforms offer “eco” or “super fuel economy” packages, even with standard internal combustion engine vehicle.

According to the latest data compiled by the New York Times and TrueCar, the option of choosing vehicles that offer better mileage through the latest technologies does not mean money is saved. Only two hybrid models, namely the Toyota Prius and the Lincoln MKZ and the Volkswagen Jetta TDI, a diesel-powered vehicle has provided new technologies that can allow an average driver nearly ten years to save money. This is a better alternative compared to current internal combustion engine cars.

At the current pump prices, some as high as US$4 and may even reach up to US$5 a gallon. In order to achieve its pay return, gas would have to reach US$8 per gallon and it would take six years to achieve the investment returns.

Many analysts identify the added cost of the new technology as a factor in limiting the ability of alternative fuel cars to reach a greater mass audience. With hybrid sales increasing by more than sixty percent this year, they still account for less than three percent of total auto sales. Plug in cars on the other hand, has a smaller fraction of the market. Proof of this was the temporary halt in production by General Motors of its flagship Chevrolet Volt.

According to the same figures, the Prius and Lincoln MKZ would produce overall savings within two years compared to similar cars with the internal combustion engines from the same brand. Other hybrids though, despite claims and ratings between eight and twelve miles to the gallon compared to other models. The hybrids though cost more and need to be driven for five years before returns are found. These figures assume that the distance traveled was US$15,000 miles and the gas price would be just under $4.00 per gallon.

The figures, when adjusted to US$5 per gallon, would have differing results as to payback periods. The hybrid Ford Fusion, compared to the conventional Fusion, would just be six and a half years, and eight and a half years at US$4 per gallon prices. At US$6 per gallon, the hybrid Toyota Camry, the Hyundai Sonata and the Kia Optima would create returns within just four years.