Over the past few years, hybrid and diesel powertrains have become available in many different cars. Usually, they're version is more expensive than the standard, gasoline engine. We wondered, do you actually recoup their extra cost, and if so, how long does it take?
The federal government has offered generous tax incentives for hybrid and diesel vehicles. However, for many hybrid models, those rebates have begun to phase out. Several states, however, still offer incentives that can lower the cost of a new hybrid. Because of the variable nature of these incentives, we will not include them in our calculations.
There are several stand-alone hybrid vehicles on the market, including the Honda Insight, Lexus HS, and Toyota Prius. For our purposes, we're much more interested in models offered with both internal combustion and alternative powertrains, because they can be more directly compared.