theGreenTax, show #36

May 16, 2008 at 2:44 am Leave a comment

Gas prices and buying a fuel economy car.

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Shameless Promotion:

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This show was brought to you by:

Gas prices are going up...

  • Hamlet’s trip to the gas station where he contemplates killing his car when he sees the price of gas these days, “To Prius, or not to Prius, that is the question…”

Show Topics:

  • Gas prices and buying a fuel economy car.

Links from the Show:

The Magic Formula:

  • Choose cars to compare to current car
    • current car = toyota sienna @ 20mpg, $0
    • new car 1 = toyota matrix @ 28mpg, $18,231
    • new car 2 = toyota prius @ 46 mpg, $25,500
  • Calculate cost of gas per month for each car, using the following formula:
    • A = average number of miles driven in a month
    • B = MPG for a specific car
    • C = cost of gas per gallon
    • D = Cost of gas per month = (A / B) * C
  • Using $4 gallon
    • D40 = cost of gas to fill toyota sienna for a month = ( 1500/20 ) * 4 = 300
    • D41 = cost of gas to fill toyota matrix for a month = ( 1500/28 ) * 4 = 214
    • D42 = cost of gas to fill toyota prius for a month = ( 1500/46 ) * 4 = 130
  • Using $5 gallon
    • D50 = cost of gas to fill toyota sienna for a month = ( 1500/20 ) * 5 = 375
    • D51 = cost of gas to fill toyota matrix for a month = ( 1500/28 ) * 5 = 268
    • D52 = cost of gas to fill toyota prius for a month = ( 1500/46 ) * 5 = 163
  • Use cost savings in gas for a new car to figure out how long it would take to earn back the cost of the new car
    • worst case, using $4 gallon and toyota matrix
      • 28,231 / (D41 – D40) = 328 months = 27.35 yrs ( not 17 as stated on podcast )
    • best case, using $5 gallon and toyota prius
      • 25,500 / (D52 – D50) = 122 months = 10 yrs
  • Conclusions:
    • If you’re looking to save money, drive less
    • If you have a car that’s working now, it probably doesn’t make sense to buy a new fuel economic car solely based on rising gas prices.
    • If you are buying a new car, it makes sense to do the calculations to figure out what your best bang for buck is, given gas is most likely your highest cost contributor for ongoing car cost.

Feedback and Comments:
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  • thegreentax AT gmail DOT com

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Thanks !

Green Tip:

  • When you’re buying a new car, make fuel efficiency a priority.

The Green Tax Podcast is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 License. More information about The Green Tax, news and views about being green in today’s world by Joe Hershey and Ed Maurer, can be found here.


Tags: green, environment, toyota prius, toyota, prius, fuel economy, energy, gas price, price at the pump

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Entry filed under: Podcast. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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