In a bid to encourage EV purchase, the U.S. government has introduced a payback system on their fuel economy website.
The new section offers a comparison between the fuel costs and MSRP of 12 electronic vehicle models manufactured in 2012. The website states: "Based on MSRP and fuel costs alone, hybrid vehicles can save you money versus a comparably equipped conventional vehicle." Some of the vehicles available on fueleconomy.gov are the 2012 Honda Insight, 2012 Toyota Prius c One, and 2012 Ford Fusion Hybrid.
To use the new tool, you pick a hybrid model and move the sliders to approximate annual miles driven, city-highway driving percentage and the current fuel prices.
After these details have been input, the tool then tells you the vehicle's MSRP (manufacturer's suggested retail price), and the estimated fuel saving by converting to an EV model weekly, monthly and yearly.
Based on these savings, Fuel economy gives you an estimated time of payback -- the time it will take for your original investment to bear fruit for your personal finances.
Insurance, maintenance and resale values are not considered, as the different rates can vary widely.
Image credit: Screenshot C.Osborne/Fueleconomy.gov