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Heard that one before? Many sources claim that if you're considering buying a hybrid, you should never expect to pay off your car with gas savings. Well, that was before $3 gas. Now, I'm not saying I know for sure that gas will stay at $3 per gallon. But let's just assume the *average* over the next several years will indeed be $3 for good old regular gasoline here in the States. And then let's just assume you were to sell your GMC Yukon and buy instead an Insight:

Honda Insight manual driven 15,000 miles per year
@ 65mpg = 230.77 gallons
@ $3.00 per gallon
= $692 annual cost of gas

GMC K1500 Yukon XL driven 15,000 miles per year
@ 12mpg = 1,250 gallons
x $3.00 per gallon
= $3,750 annual cost of gas

Honda Insight annual cost of gas
...after 2 years $1,384
...after 3 years $2,076
...after 4 years $2,768
...after 5 years $3,460
...after 7 years $4,844
...after 10 years $6,920


GMC Yukon XL annual cost of gas
...after 2 years $7,500
...after 3 years $11,250
...after 4 years $15,000
...after 5 years $18,750
...after 7 years $26,250
...after 10 years $37,500
 

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I think the big argument

Is comparing it to a similar sized car, such as a Toyota Corolla or Echo or Honda Civic.

The IMA adds about $5000 to the cost of the car. Add in potential costs of batteries, and it takes about 150,000 - 200,000 miles to get a ROI of the surcharge.

Though as gas creeps up to $5/gallon, the ROI will be a lot faster, and there will be a lot less traffic to get in my way, so mpg goes up, and ROI improves even further....
 

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The difference between the Insight and other hybrids is that Honda is loosing money on every one sold. The premium for the hybrid system isn't added to it's cost. This makes the Insight very worthwhile. If you consider the costs that a hybrid Civic or Accord gets compared to it's un-assisted counterparts, you'll find the extra mpg isn't really not worth it. I've figured that after 60k miles, I've broken even on my batteries compared to a 30 mpg car (and that was with gas at $2 a gallon). I wouldn't even think about getting another hybrid unless it utilizes some capacitors or something that won't need replacing.
 

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Show me another hand made all aluminum car for under $20k. It already paid itself off before the first payment! :D
 

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kapps said:
The difference between the Insight and other hybrids is that Honda is loosing money on every one sold.
Toyota claims the same thing with their Prius but I don't believe it. A company doesn't make a product to lose money.
 

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Resist said:
Toyota claims the same thing with their Prius but I don't believe it. A company doesn't make a product to lose money.
Toyota has been claiming a profit on making the new Prius. Toyota and Honda have the highest market worth and both still have considerable Toyoda/Honda family influence/ownership. Having the resources and enough sway over the company lets them do oddball things like develop and bring hybrids to the market.

BTW, GM lost an estimated $1,227 for every vehicle they made in the first half of this year and Ford lost and estimated $139.

I could see the Insight selling for losses initially (magnesium oil pan...). It could be better now, but they make so few it doesn't really matter anymore. These cars really were test beds forr their rapid hybrid development project in many ways. It was part of the price to play catch up with Toyota and become number two with hybrid technology.

From what I've seen, normally Toyota waits a few years to see how new technology works out for Honda before using it themselves. Having Toyota beat them to hybrid technology must have been a huge motivator to do the crash program that let to the Insight and selling the Insight at a loss for real world data. For example, the Insight battery problems were (hopefully) resolved sometime in 2002, in time for the (or because of) the Civic hybrid. Toyota received real world data from the Prius in Japan during 97-99 and Honda did with the Insight during 00-02.
 

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Resist said:
Toyota claims the same thing with their Prius but I don't believe it. A company doesn't make a product to lose money.
that is 100% true. every for-profit organization out there is for-profit. look at big-picture, however. if company X makes product H and sells it for A, where A is an amount of money that is less than what is required for them to offset all development/production costs for the intended life-cycle of that model, given projected sales figures, you might say "they're losing money, and that's nonsense because companies just don't do that on purpose". a broader view might be one which says that the reconnaisance and field-operation time (eg - the information they gather back from the vehicles as users use them) may be what the entire purpose was to begin with.

from another angle, if company X has a hybrid car, H, and they make a flagship hybrid who sells for cheap and they don't actually profit on the individual sales of H, that may be perfectly acceptible in the long term of company X intending to use the hybrid powerplant or other telemetric-or-otherwise data to package into sales of company X's vehicles: D, C, B, F, N, R, Q.

if D, C, B, F, N, R, Q achieve an increase in end-user Value, V, due to the information/real-world ... ahem... insight that company X gained from selling H at a price of A that is greater than the profit deficit that they incurred purely with respect to selling H at less than they would needed to have to make a profit on H, then they've made money.

so, given my crappy made up variables, function f is info learned from a hybrid program, and h is if they never had a hybrid program to begin with:
f(D,C,B,F,N,R,Q) = V(f)
h(D,C,B,F,N,R,Q) = V(h)
P = money they "lost" selling the hybrid car.

if V(f) + P > V(h), they made money.

i should go find some coffee...

ps - dear math dudes, please don't kill me if my syntax is in error.
 

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Re: "Gas savings never pay off the purchase price...&qu

surfseeker7 said:
Heard that one before?
yeah, it's usually in a magazine column by some dude with a big DETRIOT tattoo across his chest.
 

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jrrs, wow. That almost put a few of my Physics and Calculus teachers' lectures to shame :lol: . That's what I was trying to say, though...while Honda is loosing money on the Insight, they're making it up now with the Civic and Accord.
 

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Everytime someone makes that statement, I just do the following math:

My car payments on the Insight are $450 a month. That's less then I used to spend on gas. 'Nuff said. :)

Seriously, when I was driving the RX-7 daily, I would spend roughly $500 a month on gas (I do on site computer service, and can thus drive 2K-3K miles a month). Now, I fill the Insight about once every three weeks, at a cost (these days anyway) of about $40. In fuel, my savings thusfar are probably on the order of $4500-$5000.
 

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another thing that has always chapped my cheeks about that "doesn't pay off purchase price" argument is that if someone is in the market to purchase a ~$22k car... *they're in the market to purchase a ~$22k car!* the typical FOX News justification of the "doesn't pay it off" argument involves them saying "Oh, insight, i can pay $22k, or i can get a KIA for $14k, and even tho the KIA doesn't do so much MPG it is cheaper so for the insight to be making me money on the price of gas, i'd have to drive it 800,000 miles per year and gas would have to be $14/gal" or some other inflated poppycock.

desire or interest in a car is not legal tender. money is. when it comes down to it, it's about how much money an individual is worth ( either in cash or to a potential lender ) that will denominate their bottom line. if someone cannot qualify for a ~$22k car loan, it doesn't matter what specific car that loan is intended to be for. if they can qualify for it, then they're looking at spending that much. if they're looking at spending $22k on a car, they're looking at cars that cost $22k. if one person buys a $22k/75mpg car, and another buys a $22k/20mpg car, the owner of the 75mpg car is financially ahead of the 20mpg owner the instant the 20mpg owner pulls into a gas station while the 75mpg owner is still on 3/4 of a tank.

the argument against the "purchase price" stuff only holds water if you assert that someone who can and will spend $22k on a car, regardless of the car, is interested in spending $14 or whatever. last i checked, i bought this specific car because i wanted this specific car, not because i wanted to have another loan and just some "reason to have a loan" parked in my driveway...

anyway, i'm biased, so i guess it's OK to say i'm an ill-informed crockpot.

one thing people don't factor in is the Peace-of-Mind that comes with being an insight owner and not being at all concerned about the price of gas. i hear people at work complaining about it and i get to turn around and ask them what the price of gas is up to this month. that's worth some $$ value right there <G>.
 

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Aaron Cake said:
Seriously, when I was driving the RX-7 daily, I would spend roughly $500 a month on gas
my friend has an '85 GSL-SE. they do like gas, that's for sure. and if you can forget about the insight having a bit under 1/2 the power of the RX-7 of that era (1st gen), the two cars are quite similar with respect to their trappings. oh.. yeah. forget about the drive train too <G>

so gas prices are climbing and he's thinking about packing it away, but then while discussing how *SMALL* the rise in gas prices actually are ( until the prices in north america exceed the prices on the rest of the globe, north americans can just shut up ), he's thinking of continuing to drive it around as an act of defiance against the silliness of the (mainly US) anxiety of what ppl are "paying at the pump" having gone up "so much". :p
 

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Polls is poppycock anyhow.

Polls is poppycock anyhow. Wheather political decision making, ala Clinton era politics, or Detroit press bias magazines, it's all in the massaging of the questions / figures / results. Bottom line, most of 'em say what the authors want them to.
As for the personal choices we make, I ain't never 'fit in' with the crowd nohow. And the Insight, grabbed off the lot at a bargain used price, is fueled and financed by the $$ that used to feed my Jeep Cherokee commuting to work. Still have the Jeep, to go trailering with.
 

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I recently switched from a Mazda RX-8 to the Insight. It saves me about $170 a month in gas. Assuming that I keep the Insight for 6 years, then it will save me $12240 in gas.

Yes, I could have purchased a cheapo car for $14000 with good gas mileage. However, that car would not have looked as good as the Insight, would have polluted more, would not have had a CVT transmission, and would not have been nearly as cool.

In other words, it's not all about money. It's about style, features, gas mileage, pollution, and cool-factor.
 

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I'm surprised there are people here with such high monthly costs for gasoline. I commute to work every day but I only pay $20 a month for gas.
 

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I wonder why this argument never comes up on all car purchases,not just hybrids but situations where one chooses an SUV as opposed to a Kia.
There are the same price and economy differences on other vehicles and no one seems to give a toss.
Even taking two of the same make of automobile but equipping them differently thus running up the cost and increasing the weight (less economical)of one over the other never promotes this kind of publicity.
I think this is just another stupid comparison by stupid media types to dampen the hybrid movement or else it is being pushed by the motor manufacturers with backhanders,in either case it is a concern.

DGate
 

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Actually, no one ever SAVES money on any car. It should be viewed as SPENT LESS. Everytime I see car ads it says things like "Save thousands on a new Ford Guzzler"

Whether you make up for the cost in petrol in 1 week or 20 years doesn't matter....you've spent less on petrol and emitted less toxins than any other vehicle.

Anti-hybrid spin comes from the ignorant.
 

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Seems like even we Insighters are a bit apprehensive in regard to increasing oil prices too.

And folks lets remember that while it's good to blow off some steam, don't waste _that_ energy either :!: :twisted:

Put it to some good use in your community in helping spread the news about hybrids.

If _we_ don't, Who will :?:

Sincerely,
 

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I wonder why those people don't apply the same "savings won't pay off the cost" argument to something other than gas. For instance, a Porsche goes faster than an Insight, so you might save - what, maybe 5 minutes a day on an average commute? So multiply that 5 minutes times whatever you make per hour, divide that into the price difference, and see how long the payback period is.

Let's see: say you make $60/hour, or $1/minute. Say 250 working days per year, so that means time savings = $1250/year. Porsche costs at least $50K more than Insight, so that's what, 40 year payback?

And that's not even counting the increased cost of speeding tickets.
Or the fact that Porsche and Insight go the same speed on a rush-hour freeway :)
 
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