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HA, fuel prices. I purchased my hybrid in 2012 when I thought gas prices would be $5/gal by now . Prices back then were around the same as today. They went up, peaked then fracking began and fuel prices came down, now on the way up but it is a crap shoot. We all say they are going up but they just keep bouncing back and forth. The key to breaking even in a hybrid is to put a lot of miles on it.
It is indeed possible that fuel prices will fluctuate in the US, and not continue to rise as they typically have done elsewhere. However, much of the rest of the world has already experienced the trend towards increasing fuel costs. One of the reasons hybrids and other fuel-efficient transport solutions are far more commonplace around Europe, for example, than here.

But, personally, I wouldn't bet against rising fuel prices, even if only in so far as each cycle in a pattern of fluctuating cost is likely to see a higher peak than the last. There's simply too much profit to be gained by oil companies, squeezing the growing fleet of less efficient vehicles here.

Who knows. But either way I would personally much rather put 10 gallons in my tank every 5-6 weeks at any price, than feed the more frequent and voracious needs of a more typical vehicle on the road today.
 

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The base cost of fuel is only one aspect. Here in CA they have some many taxes that keep getting added as well and actually, they have a large amount of "tax" in the price they can't seem to even fully account for it seems. So, one way or the other, fuel cost will go up. Similar to long term stock market and housing trends, despite some dips.

As mentioned, the more miles you drive the quicker the pay-back and absolutely a hybrid is worth it and specifically the HSH is not perfect but does the job well enough with well enough reliability. I have not had the opportunity to really compare this HSH to any other hybrid to further the equation for ultimate value.

Side benefit I would say is that my HSH has taught me to drive slower and safer.
 

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I think the Plugin is the best of both worlds. You don't have to rely on braking, coasting or all the other magical things that recharge the hybrid battery, just plug it in. Also you can charge the battery directly from the gas engine, no braking involved. :) In 900 miles I've put in 8 gals of gas. Dealer started me off with a full tank. I topped it off when I got it home, gas was going for $2.85 at the time. Now it's $3.15 (Costco) in these parts and it's expected to make a steep rise with aircraft carriers headed to the middle east. I expect to buy my next tank of gas in El Paso, Texas some 440 miles away on my road trip in June. No telling what gas prices will be then. Also the Sonata is a nice comfortable car, not a roller skate so I'm not sacrificing comfort for fuel economy.
 

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Hybrids are a gap filler and I would hold off buying one for a few more years when the electric car prices will drop. With government mandates to go full electric in over 20 countries in the next few years they will have to sell much cheaper than they are now. Have a look at the Volvo (not my car but very nice) Polestar 2 due out next year.
 

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Hybrids are a gap filler and I would hold off buying one for a few more years when the electric car prices will drop. With government mandates to go full electric in over 20 countries in the next few years they will have to sell much cheaper than they are now. Have a look at the Volvo (not my car but very nice) Polestar 2 due out next year.
Assuming you are right - and I would agree that hybrids are a gap filler - what would be the point of holding off buying one 'for a few more years'?

Indeed it seems likely that, EVs will come down in price, and charging infrastructure will improve to the point of practicality. Or even that hydrogen cell vehicles and infrastructure will become viable alternatives. But that is then, and this is now, so in the meantime, what are we to buy and drive?

If an EV is not yet practicable, no alternative fuel ZEV is available, a hybrid returning better than 50mpg with low emissions is still a better option than a non-hybrid returning a lot less mpg and far higher emissions. It's a compromise, certainly, but a perfectly viable one for many in current circumstances.
 

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Hybrids are a gap filler and I would hold off buying one for a few more years when the electric car prices will drop. With government mandates to go full electric in over 20 countries in the next few years they will have to sell much cheaper than they are now. Have a look at the Volvo (not my car but very nice) Polestar 2 due out next year.
While hybrids may be a gap filler, I don't think gas cars are going away in the US anytime soon. This is particularly true for people that travel in their cars -- as Electric is still a long way from being practical to travel in. Teslas come the closest, at this point, but their superchargers are still limited to Tesla cars and other charging points don't have their charging speeds (at least yet). Even with a Tesla, you are still talking about at least a 30 minute stop every few hours.

We still need some type of technological breakthrough -- either one to give us cheaper long range and quick charging batteries, or a way to isolate hydrogen efficiently and economically. At this point, neither seems likely to be in production in the next few years.
 

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The big problem with Hydrogen is most commercially generated Hydrogen is produced from Hydrocarbon fuel as it's the easiest and most cost effective way of producing it. The amount of CO2 during the process is horrendous. The hidden cost. Fuel cell technology is still in it's very early stages of development. Don't get me wrong yes Hybrids are are great alternative to Hydrocarbon burners but that is changing rapidly and is moving hard into full electric vehicles. Look at big companies like GM who blatantly ripped of governments with big grants and cheap loans now big in China making what? Electric cars. The extra cost for Hybrids in this country is high and is justified by the want to own one with some time to recoup the extra initial purchase cost. If you drive a lot with lots of stop start driving their great.
 

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The big problem with Hydrogen is most commercially generated Hydrogen is produced from Hydrocarbon fuel as it's the easiest and most cost effective way of producing it. The amount of CO2 during the process is horrendous. The hidden cost. Fuel cell technology is still in it's very early stages of development.
The problem with hydrogen as a vehicular fuel is simply that to be viable, it is necessary to have refueling infrastructure in place, and sadly that creates a chicken and egg problem of building out infrastructure when there are very few vehicles, yet no manufacturer being particularly willing to develop vehicles for the marketplace when there is no infrastructure for buyers to use. plug-ins and EVs are easier, so as a result, the market has leant towards them rather more - so far.

Yet a plug-in is only good for short EV range before it drops into normal hybrid operation, where it typically won't be quite as fuel-efficient as a hybrid, and an EV will have to stop every couple of hours for a recharge that could take half an hour or more. Hydrogen fueled cars refuel in minutes - hence manufacturers are still interested in hydrogen vehicles, because if all else was equal, there would likely be a bigger market for them than for EVs.

Don't get me wrong yes Hybrids are are great alternative to Hydrocarbon burners but that is changing rapidly and is moving hard into full electric vehicles.
This rather depends on location. Where I live there's not much interest in EVs at all, and the marketplace is heavily biased towards medium-to-large trucks, SUVs and CUVs. The knock-on impact of this is that charging infrastructure isn't much there either. What infrastructure there is helps sell a few Teslas, but not much else.

Look at big companies like GM who blatantly ripped of governments with big grants and cheap loans now big in China making what? Electric cars.
Yes, because they can sell them there, and into markets they can service from there. There are markets which are more dense than the US, such as Europe for example, where it is far cheaper (per head) to build out infrastructure than it is in the US, where only large population densities and popular routes and destinations are likely to get charging stations in the immature stages of EV sales.

Once again, elsewhere, the lack of infrastructure damps sales, and the lack of sales damp infrastructure development.

The extra cost for Hybrids in this country is high and is justified by the want to own one with some time to recoup the extra initial purchase cost.
It depends on which hybrid you're talking about and where you buy it. While you're probably not going to get a bargain if you are looking for a Prius, in an area where small/economical car sales are poor, it is possible to get a great deal on a Hyundai hybrid - mine cost barely more than a similar non-hybrid. Recovering the extra purchase cost will take very little time when I am achieving better than 20mpg over a similar non-hybrid.

If you drive a lot with lots of stop start driving their great.
As said before, it is not just 'stop start driving' that a hybrid works to save fuel. That simply perpetuates the myth that hybrids rely on regenerative braking for battery charging. How they work to recover energy and restore battery charge has already been explained, and allows better than 50mpg results from constant 70mph highway driving for many - certainly the more fuel-efficient such as the Prius (I've owned 3), and Hyundai Ioniq (I have one).

Usually, on a regular interstate trip of 230 miles each way, I've got close to 55mpg overall, typically closer to 52 in heavy rain or very low temperatures.

It would not be possible to achieve that without more sophisticated energy usage than simply 'stop and go driving'.
 

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Yet a plug-in is only good for short EV range before it drops into normal hybrid operation, where it typically won't be quite as fuel-efficient as a hybrid,
I'm not sure why the plugin hybrid would be any different from a normal hybrid as far as fuel efficiency unless, at least in my case it's a larger car than the typical standard hybrid. My VERY limited gas mileage experience was it's first 300 miles which clocked in at 58 MPG. I'm pretty happy with that :) Most of the rest has been all electric. I bought it because I figured that 80% of my driving is within it's 30 mile all electric range. So far that's held true. I'm at 921 miles at the moment. I've got a road trip in early June where I can give you a more extensive MPG report.
 

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I'm not sure why the plugin hybrid would be any different from a normal hybrid as far as fuel efficiency unless, at least in my case it's a larger car than the typical standard hybrid. My VERY limited gas mileage experience was it's first 300 miles which clocked in at 58 MPG. I'm pretty happy with that :) Most of the rest has been all electric. I bought it because I figured that 80% of my driving is within it's 30 mile all electric range. So far that's held true. I'm at 921 miles at the moment. I've got a road trip in early June where I can give you a more extensive MPG report.
The fuel efficieny loss between the HEV and PHEV Ioniq isn't great (based on EPA figures - 52 combined for the PHEV, 58 and 55 for the HEV Blue and HEV SEL respectively) but I'd assume it's the result of weight - particularly the battery - and the 16" wheels instead of the HEV's 15.

Not that the mpg numbers matter much if you can do most of your journeys on battery! I certainly envy that!
 

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I'd assume it's the result of weight - particularly the battery - and the 16" wheels instead of the HEV's 15.
Ahhh, I hadn't thought of that. I haven't tried it yet (haven't needed to) but it will be interesting to see what putting it into the charge from engine mode when on the road does to MPG.
 

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Wow AndyO pull me apart. Many of your points are valid but it's all to do with where you live. In Australia hybrids are at least $5000+ more expensive than petrol and diesel becoming a very good alternative in fuel efficient vehicles. I currently have 3. I have never said that hybrids are not a good alternative but the mandate is full electric and all we say and try to do will not stop that with all governments now having pressure put on them to reduce Carbon Monoxide (previously thought to be harmless) emissions. Anyway I think we are taking over this thread.
 

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Wow AndyO pull me apart. Many of your points are valid but it's all to do with where you live. In Australia hybrids are at least $5000+ more expensive than petrol and diesel becoming a very good alternative in fuel efficient vehicles. I currently have 3. I have never said that hybrids are not a good alternative but the mandate is full electric and all we say and try to do will not stop that with all governments now having pressure put on them to reduce Carbon Monoxide (previously thought to be harmless) emissions.
As you say, it is very dependent on where you live, not least because political and economic pressures vary so much from country to country. In the US, fuel prices are generally quite low (comparatively), and there is rapidly reducing environmental pressure, so the market for fuel-efficient vehicles is very small, and much more dependent on individual preference. In the UK, by comparison, fuel prices are very high, political pressure is towards environmental protections, and therefore fuel-efficient cars are in great demand.

I don't know enough about your market to make an intelligent comment, but if you are looking at a mandate for EV vehicles, that would hopefully stimulate the building out of charging infrastructure in ways that sadly we don't see in the US - other than California, perhaps.

I know in many places diesels were seen as a better alternative to hybrids in many places, since they seemed capable of returning similar fuel efficiency, but recent scandals have brought those numbers into question and dampened that market too.

I wish my government was facing pressure on carbon emissions... or indeed any environmental concerns!

Anyway I think we are taking over this thread.
I thought everyone else was done with it! But thanks for the comments, much appreciated!
 

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Here's my May report on my experience with a 2019 Sonata PHEV
Location Phoenix AZ
Utility SRP
Rate Plan EZ3 Off Peak .0829 Peak .2895 per kWh summer rate period

Monthly Monthly Monthly Monthly Lifetime
Odm Gas Elec Miles Total $ Per Mile MPG
April 818 8.935 gal @$2.82 $25.28 126 kWh @.0829 $10.48 818 $35.76 4.4¢ 91.6
May 1210 2.651 gal @$2.99 $ 7.95 120 kWh @.0829 $ 9.96 382 $17.91 4.7¢ 99.7

May was a low milage month. Coming attractions, 2.5k road trip in June so more gas milage. Elec rate goes to summer peak with off peak at .0853

The chart doesn't show up as I had typed it. Here it is as a jpg
 

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Purchasing the Hybrid was worth it for me. I didn't want new, (we've bought 5 NEW vehicles in the past 6 years) So finding this low mileage used 16 HSH, for a difference of 3G over what I currently was paying off AND compared to the new initial cost of the HSH, I came out ahead already. IF calculations on my AVG. current fuel consumption stay put, this car will pay off that difference in 1yr & 4mo. I already lowered my payment by refinancing AND got a better rate, so even with sticking with my original monthly payment (that was also above what was required) I'll have this HSH paid off in the same amount of time, and it will start saving more yearly expense sooner.

I would be spending more to have stayed with the SUV I was driving in fuel costs alone. So for me,,, yeah, Hybrid was worth it. As long as this car keeps sipping the fuel and 2nd certified owner warranty stays intact, I'll drive this car till it gives out. It's just a commuter car that sees 70 miles a day pretty much 6 days a week and some trips here and -there. I went from a hopped up Mitsubishi SUV getting 18-22 mpg on the interstate, and with no real change in driving (or speed) I'm now 38-42 mpg. I only run premium fuel, so i'm really liking going from 4day fill ups to 8 or 9 days.
YES, Worth it.....
 

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I think we all need to accept the fact that within 10 years time the majority of cars sold will be with full electric. Most European and Asian countries have mandated no sale of petrol or diesel cars after 2025. I don't have any info on the phasing out of Hybrids but I am sure their in that basket. Australia is well behind the eight ball with fast charge locations as well as the distance we can travel being major setbacks that need to be overcome. The time to charge is also another consideration. Most people don't take 40 minutes plus to drink a coffee. With new car sales only 3% electric but I am not sure of that includes Hybrids. With Hybrids being $5000 dearer than petrol and electric being $10,000 dearer It's going to be a long slow road here to change so with all that in mind Hybrids are the best option we currently have. It'll be interesting to see which way our government moves.
 

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Just found an interesting list where our State Government gives a low tax discount for low CO2 producing cars and the Hyundai Ioniq and Kona are the top 2 performers out of 20 cars. Not bad.
 

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I only run premium fuel, so i'm really liking going from 4day fill ups to 8 or 9 days.
YES, Worth it.....
I’m interested in your reasoning for running premium fuel. Prior to my current Sonata I've had Acura's since 1989. (Legend, CL,TL, RDX-soon to be replaced with elec Kona) All wanted Premium fuel. I ran Premium tanks and compared MPG to regular, there was no difference. If they had pinged I would have run Premium, never pinged not even in HOT Az. Since 1989 I never had a car in for anything other than routine maintenance so I can safely say running regular when premium was requested didn’t harm the engine. Actually I lied about only routine maintenance, the CL had a transmission replaced under a recall and the TL & RDX had Takata airbags . . . In all cases Acura gave me a rental. In the case of the Takata airbags it was for 4 months. In the 2 times I’ve pulled into the gas station (so far) it’s been nice to pump regular gas and not feel like I’m cheating. Is there a benefit of higher octane gas that I should be aware of?
 

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I’m interested in your reasoning for running premium fuel....
We use ethanol-free fuel for the greater energy content, usually premium. It shows up as a ~7% increase in MPG, nowhere near break-even on cost, but nice because it stretches the refueling interval.

Conversely, it only shows up if you're already getting very high mileage, at least 50 MPG. Any advantage disappears in winter. None of the cars you listed would show an effect in MPG, but perhaps on the dynamometer. But its real.

HAve fun,
Frank
 

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I’m interested in your reasoning for running premium fuel. Is there a benefit of higher octane gas that I should be aware of?
We use ethanol-free fuel for the greater energy content, usually premium. It shows up as a ~7% increase in MPG, nowhere near break-even on cost, but nice because it stretches the refueling interval.
Frank
I''ve use premium fuel for the quality of it and also for the added power. Always ran it in my Turbo Sonata (modded of coarse) and my latest Mitsubishi's that have also been modded. I wanted the best Horse power out of it I could get, but I also wanted to keep the fuel systems running top shape. Ethanol fuels are junk IMO and I had nothing but troubles with older vehicles running it. I am trying a tank of NON ethanol fuel as of today, but I've always liked how my vehicles have ran on premium. To me it's like putting McDonalds in your body VS. a nice seasoned Steak or Lobster....
 
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