Savings slow to come for hybrid, electric car owners

The New York Times compared the Nissan Leaf with the Nissan Versa to calculate savings over time.

The New York Times compared the Nissan Leaf with the Nissan Versa to calculate savings over time.

If you're thinking about buying a fuel-efficient hybrid, electric or otherwise eco-friendly vehicle as a way to save money over time, do your homework — or be prepared to wait.

Buyers who choose Nissan's all-electric Leaf ($28,421) over its approximate gas-powered equivalent, Nissan's Versa ($18,640), will likely wait nearly 9 years until they break even, according to a new report by The New York Times that examines the cost of fuel efficiency.

For drivers of the Chevrolet Volt ($31,767), the wait is even longer— 26.6 years.

A few vehicles begin paying off relatively soon after leaving the dealership. Two hybrids— Toyota's Prius ($23,537) and Lincoln's MKZ ($33,887)— as well as Volkswagen's diesel-powered Jetta TDI ($25,242) all take less than two years before they start saving their owners money.

Check out this chart by the Times that breaks down the savings delay for many popular fuel-efficient models.

Read more in the Nashville Business Journal.

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