Toyota Prius Driving Mode Options

How Toyota Prius Owners Could Save Up To 50% on Fuel Costs

Toyota Prius owner's rationale on how Prius owners may save up to 50 percent on fuel costs, depending on their driving.

Today was Press day at the NY Auto Show and I had a great opportunity to walk around and review all the Electric Vehicles (EVs) and Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicles(PHEVs). Since I cover all cars with a plug for Torque News, it was great to check out the Prius Prime. The one pictured here was a wonderful red color and the car will be an upgrade for any Prius Owner. As someone that owns three Toyota Prius cars, I would consider upgrading to this car. As you may or may not know, Toyota Prius drivers are very likely to purchase another Toyota Prius vehicle. This type of loyalty is great for Toyota as they have expanded the Prius line and I would consider the Toyota Prius Prime the flagship.

The opportunity for Toyota Prius owners is to save money on fuel costs. Here is my rational. The average American drives 40 miles per day. That is the exact number of miles of EV Range given to the Chevy Volt when it debuted. The stated EV miles given to the Prime was 25 Miles of EV Range and that means the car will cover 62.5% of the average daily miles driven by Toyota Prius drivers if you consider Prius drivers average. Now I could argue that Prius drivers are not average because many people purchase the Prius because of its high miles per gallon rating. So maybe Prius drivers drive further than the average daily driving of most Americans. I have no way of figuring that out at this point but lets for the sake of argument say that Toyota Prius drivers average miles driven is average.

Now my Prius cars are all the Generation 2 (2004 – 2009) version of the car. I average between 43 miles per gallon and 53 mpgs depending on where and how I’m driving the cars. So with that range and the cost of a gallon of gas being $2.25 gallon at my station locally in NJ, the cost per mile driven in my Prius is $0.04/mile at 53 MPGs and $0.05/mile at 43 MPGs.

So at $0.04 and $0.05 per mile how can a Toyota Prius owner reduce his fuel costs by 50%? All I have to do to do that is to lower the cost per mile to $0.02 and $0.03. So how can you do that with a Prius? You can upgrade to a Toyota Prius Prime. With the average cost per EV mile of $0.01 to $0.03 (depending on your cost of electricity in your neck of the woods) if you swapped more of your average daily miles to electric vs gas, you would be saving in the neighborhood of 50% on your cost per mile traveled. With the average cost in my Prius being anywhere between $2.09 per day if I’m an average American driver that cost could be reduced to $1.04 per mile if you have the best rate on Electricity. I realize there are a lot of variables in this analysis however I believe you get the picture. An EV miles is almost always cheaper than a gas mile. That is just the way it is.

Now things can happen that would make this an impossibility. Tax Policy could change in your state. EVs and PHEVs could be taxed differently than they are today with simple legislative action. I hope this doesn’t happen however I’m a realist and know that many states need new revenue streams and cars and gas taxes are an easy one targets for tax gap policy.


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