This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

March 15, 2006

Consumer Reports: Two Hybrids Pay for Themselves in Gas Savings

Consumer Reports announced a rare revision of one of its articles on March 7th, correcting a story that found the extra cost of hybrid vehicles is not reclaimed through savings on gasoline. In fact, a recalculation by the consumer magazine concluded that the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic Hybrid will save their owners about $400 and $300, respectively, over the first five years and 75,000 miles of driving, thanks in part to federal tax credits. Other hybrids would cost their owners from $1,900 to $5,500 more than their gasoline-only counterparts. However, some states offer incentives that tip the scale more in favor of hybrid vehicles, a factor not accounted for by the magazine. See the press release and the revised article on the Consumer Reports Web site.

Anyone considering buying a hybrid vehicle should check the Web site of the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE), which includes estimates of the federal tax credit for all current and upcoming hybrids. On the state level, DOE's Alternative Fuels Data Center (AFDC) lists the incentives available for hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles. Pennsylvania is one of those states, offering rebates for hybrids and for alternative fuel vehicles. The rebates are so popular that the state is nearly out of funds for the program. The state will soon stop accepting rebate applications until July, when new funds will be available. Buying a hybrid can also cut the cost of your auto insurance: Travelers is offering a 10 percent discount in 26 states and the District of Columbia, and will expand the discount to more states in late March. See the ACEEE and AFDC Web sites; the press release from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; and the newsroom of the new Hybrid Travelers Web site.