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Plug in the numbers, get the savings

Would a plug-in hybrid save you money? A new website lets buyers calculate their fuel costs with a variety of plug-in hybrids.

“My Plug-in Hybrid Calculator,” created by the U.S. Department of Energy, lets you tailor results to any plug-in on the market and your personal driving needs.

Choosing the most cost-effective vehicle is no longer a simple matter of high miles per gallon equals low cost, because plug-in hybrids’ cruising ranges vary greatly depending on battery size.

For instance, if you drive 30 miles a day and 12,000 miles a year, gasoline and electricity for a Ford C-Max hybrid would cost you $690 if you had a charger at home, but not at work.

A 220-volt charger at work would cut that to $558. However, if you drive 70 miles a day, 12,000 miles a year and have no charger at work, your total cost rises to $872 and your gas consumption would more than quintuple from 37 gallons to 198.

You can find the calculator under the Advanced Vehicles and Fuels tab at fueleconomy.gov.
source chicagotribune.com

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