September 22nd, 2009


Fun with hybrids and math

Sierra Autocars offers a "certified" used 2006 Honda Accord, with 35,000 miles on it, for $14,000.

This vehicle gets 29mpg average between highway and city driving.

Sierra Autocars also offers a brand new 2009 Honda Civic Hybrid, with 0 miles on it, for $24,320.

This vehicle gets 43mpg average.

(Sierra does not offer "used" hybrids. No one does.)

Purchased outright (with no loan and interest payments), the used Accord costs $10,320 less than the new hybrid.

The hybrid goes 43 miles on one gallon of gas. To go 43 miles in the used Accord, it would take approximately 1.5 gallons of gas. A gallon of gas costs about $3.20.

So if you bought the Accord instead of the hybrid, you would lose $1.60 for every 43 miles you drove.

How far would you need to drive the Accord before you burn through the money you saved up front?

$10320 price difference, divided by $1.60, times 43 miles, equals 277,350 miles.

So you'd have to drive the accord 277,350 miles, or until the odometer reads 312,350, before the Accord becomes a poorer deal.

I don't think hybrid vehicles will be in my life for the next couple of years.