Study: Hybrid cars will pay for themselves over time
New study on Hybrids.
"High gas prices and generous tax credits now offset the high sales prices of some hybrids, assuming owners keep their hybrids for a few years," said Alex Rosten, an analyst with Edmunds.com.
The shift is significant because analysts have said that higher sticker prices were constraining hybrid sales.
Hybrids currently account for 1 percent of new car sales in the United States. But Japan's Toyota Motor Corp., the hybrid market leader, sees its annual hybrid sales topping 1 million units soon after 2010.
The consumer-focused automotive Web site said that, assuming vehicles were driven 15,000 miles per year and gas was priced at $3 per gallon, owners of the Toyota Prius and Ford Motor Co.'s Escape Hybrid would break even within three years.
Buyers of the Saturn Vue Green Line from General Motors Corp., the Toyota Camry and the Civic Hybrid from Honda Motor Co. would break-even within six years, Edmunds.com said.