$30K for a car that gets about 15 MPG better than my current $18K car, and the EV only mode only goes 15 miles, so its not like I'm going to save a ton on that either. Heck, 15 miles is 1/3 of a gallon in that car, so less than $1 a day saved vs a regular Prius? Oh wait, that extra hundred and fifty pounds of battery might drop the fuel economy a mile or two as well, might be even less savings...
My car, 34Hwy, 27City. Prius 51/48. So, 15-20MPG better. First 15 miles per day would be at about half punp prices (current cost of Joules vs equiv energy in gas). I drive about 2500 miles in 3 months on average (slightly under normal, short commute). so less than 30miles per day. Best case scenario is every day is exactly equal (max battery use scenario). So, my car costs about 1 gallon per day (currently $2.50 a gallon, but lets go with a bad case a couple of years from now so average over 6 years might be at $4.00 a gallon). A Plug-in Prius would use 15 miles on EV and 15 miles on gas, so 1/3rd of a gallon ($1.32), plus half that again for the electricity, or roughtly $2 a day. That means trading in my car saves me only $2 a day, MAX theoretical savings, and that's based on $4 per gallon average price with electricity at half the price of that. (vs today's gas price, is about $1.20 saved).
At $2 a day, assuming I drive the car for 10 years, I'd save only $7K. Plug-in Prius costs $12K more, plus options some of which my current car comes with and the Prius does not, plus the interest on the difference i might finance (I'm certainly not in a position to pay cash for a $30K car).
This is a BAD deal, over a $5K net loss over 10 years, and that assumes $4 a gallon average, that you KEEP the car 10 years (I trade in every 5-7 personally), and that you have no expensive out-of-warranty maintenance.
Lets say toy travel 3 times my rate, 90 miles per day. My car costs $12 per day (again at $4/gallon). Prius costs about $7. That's $5 per day. Sounds better, until you considder this is 32K miles per year, 3 times normal, your warranty would expire (except the battery), in 3 years, and in 5-66 the car would be near 200K miles and be in dire need of replacement if it did not already completely fail, and the repair costs over 5 years would exceed the repair costs of 10 years of an average driver. Yes, saving $5/day vs $2/day is nice, but it;s a lot less likely the price will meet a $4/gallon average over such a reduced time period, and in the end, it breaks out to about the same savings, $5K lost over the term of use of the car, except in this case, you might need to buy 2 to get to 10 years, meaning the cost is substantiually MORE ($5K loss twice).
Lets look instead at another option: Lets say instead of loosing $500-100 a year on a hybrid vs a cheap but efficinet standard ICE like a Camary, a Jeep Compas, etc, including investing (financing) up fron the $12K extra to only recoup half over 10 years, that you just drive the other car, and take the difference in the car payment and give it to the electric company to invest in wind turbines. Something between $500 and $1000 a year. Do this for 10 years, with 250 other households in your neighborhood. Your pocket will have the EXACT same amount of meoney in it, so you won;t notice vs your current bedgeted finances. Over 10 years, that 2.5Million buys a wind turbine installation capable of powering your 250 houses, plus anopther 150 more. In return for your 10 year investment, the power company gives you 50% off your electric bill, for the 50-75 year life of that wind turbine (with reguler motor replacement about every 30 years). The wind turbine is 100% paid off, the power company makes half as much on your power (you save $1000 a year now), but they have no fuel costs, so the power is essentially free, aka a 50% margin (current power companies make 10-20% if they're lucky). The other 150 houses run by that tower make them 100% profit.
no, on a small scale this is not too good of a system (technically speaking, financially it's GREAT, but you can't count on the wind of a single turbine to keep lights on). but lets say we could get 250,000 households to invest. Now we could build 1,000 wind turbines, spread across all parts of america (a significant investment) and use them to power 400,000 homes. Or we could get 25 million homes (less than 25% of households in america), and we could power 40 million homes (likely more with improved efficncy from redundancy, larger scale generators, and better tower placement. That's $1000 a year for 10 years to have 50 years of power for 40 million homes, and a power discount for the 25 million investors equalling 1000 for 40 years. In other words, instead of buying a Prius now, invest the same 10 grand, feel NO financial impact for 10 years, and then get BACK $40K in savings, and remove more CO2 from the system than buying 5 Prius would have done. Lets see, $40K in profit, better energy return, free fuel for 50 years: Can we get some government oversight over here for fuck's sake????
Oh, the whole "running out of oil" thing: check out http://www.dotyenergy.com. We no longer need to drill for oil to make gasoline. The power from just 50m of the homes above would be enough to fuel 35 million homes worth of cars using RFTS (making fuel from water, carbon, and energy). It;s no vaorware, it;s bee in use since WWII, and can now be done at about $3 a gallon at the pump ($60-80 a barrel at the plant). This would still give unlimited 100% carbon nuetral fuel for the next 50 years until we build enough additional wind turbines and further battery development so we can drive 100% electric cars in 30 years or so that only cost $1K or $2K more than current cars. and, it would use our current fuel infrastructure in the meantime, unlike H2 or Ethanol which requires new pipelines and changes or replacements for your car.
there ARE other options, they're cheaper, and they're more effective, and they're more actionable. The reson you don't know about them is they can not be monopolized easily by big firms (anyone with $200 million could build an RFTS plant and make fuel for a small city and directly compete). There's no grant money for this technology due to lobying, so it gets buried.
Talk to your congrgessmen, or invest in RFTS and Wind power. Talk to your local power company and offer an investment for a future return on power if they buoild new green power systems.
FYI: I have NO business or professional affiliation with Doty Energy and am not compensated in any way for my statements. (I went to college with some of the folks that work there, that's all).