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2010 Chevy Silverado Hybrid - When does Hybrid Pay for itself?

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Review of the 2010 Chevy Silverado Hybrid Pickup Truck

I reviewed the Silverado Hybrid 4WD last week, and I must say that I am very impressed with the quality and the technology that went into production. However, there is one question that everyone wants to know ... "Will I save enough in fuel costs to pay for the extra Hybrid cost?"

Take a look at my facts and decide for yourself. Comparison is 2010 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Crew Cab 4WD 6.0L Hybrid vs. same 6.0L Non-Hybrid.

Review of the 2010 Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid System and how it works.  Hybrid diagram.6.0L Non-Hybrid:

Average 16.5 MPG, 12,500 miles per year = 757 galons of fuel per year.
Gas at $2.75 per gallon = $2,083 / year
Gas at $4.00 per gallon = $3,033 / year

6.0L Hybrid:

Average 21.5 MPG, 12,500 miles per year = 581 galons of fuel per year.
Gas at $2.75 per gallon = $1,598 / year
Gas at $4.00 per gallon = $2,325 / year

Other factors:

Current Tax Credit = $2,200 (not a deduction, reduces what you owe - ends 12/2010)
Extra Hybrid Cost = $5,000 (hard to determine exact line item extra cost on sticker)
Total Extra Cost for getting a Hybrid = ~$2,800

Review of the Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid Display Screen.Total Difference between Hybrid and Non-Hybrid
Using my numbers for MPG, fuel costs and miles driven per year, you can expect to break-even on the extra cost of the Hybrid as early as 50,000 miles (4 years) when paying $4.00 per gallon or as late as 75,000 miles (6 years) when paying $2.75 per gallon. If gas goes back up to $5.00 per gallon, it will be much sooner and if it crashes to $1.50 per gallon, much longer.

City vs. Highway makes all the difference
If you drive mostly city-driving in stop and go traffic, then you will get the payoff earlier and will save much more money over the lifetime of the truck. If you drive mostly highways, then not so much and in fact you may never make back the extra money that you spend.

You save on time as well
Keep in mind that there might be some intangables to take into consideration. First off, you will make less stops to fill up, becuase you're buying less gas. This alone can be a major consideration for some people, and less stops may mean less junk food purchases too. Also, if you use the truck for business, you might be able to promote yourself as an eco-company that drives Hybrid-trucks that require much less fuel to operate.

Plus, when driving this thing I just felt better and actually tried to use the least amount of fuel possible. It just felt good to do this, like it was a game to get the highest MPG I could get.

Overall Conclusion
You won't save a million dollars buying a Chevy Silverado Hybrid, and in fact you will pay more up front. However, if you drive a lot in the city, going stoplight to stoplight, freeway stop-and-go traffic or constantly make short trips, you can expect to make less trips to the pump, make your money back as early as 50,000 miles (w/ $4/gal gasoline) and save money after that point for the life of the truck.

hybrid gas mpg savings - gmtruckclub.pdf - See my notes.

Updated 04-25-2012 at 11:37 AM by Steve

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  1. Steve's Avatar
    That's a great looking truck for sure.