Considering Buying a PiP... Please Check My Math

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by Sedition, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. Sedition

    Sedition New Member

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    Hi all,

    My wife and I are considering buying a Plug In Prius, or perhaps a regular Gen 3 Prius. I am attempting to calculate the value of the PiP technology in gas savings.

    For the moment, I am basing these calculations on MSRP only. I am ignoring tax rebates, dealer incentives, the cost of home electricity, and the cost of the wall charger.
    Does this mean I would have to drive my PiP for 67.8K Miles on EV, before offsetting the cost of the PiP technology in fuel savings?

    Math has not always been my strong point. Please advise if I have missed something.

    Thanks in advance.


    **Edit: I should really add that I would really prefer the PiP, but I want to make sure it's a smart financial decision.
     
  2. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Yes I think you are correct but its a little funny way to look at it.

    Let's say you do 15000 miles per year (which is a common assumption) so the Gen3 is going to consume 300 gals at a cost of $1200/yr assuming $4 gasoline. If you are fairly diligent about charging you might be able to save $400-500/yr in fuel cost with a PiP - assuming your elec cost is national average 12 cent/kwhr. That's not going to offset $5425, but I think our best deal on a 2012 PiP was around $25500 before rebates, so much closer to a comparably equipped Gen3 if you wait for best deal in the 4th quarter (couple months).

    I believe EPA's website FuelEconomy.gov has a Plug_in calculator you can use to do a little better calcs. Let us know what state you live in as it gives us an idea your situation.
     
  3. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    More than the math, you need to look at your driving habits. What is your commute like? And where do you live (what are temps like)?
     
  4. 510bg

    510bg Member

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    HOV lane is something to consider extended to 2018

    I was able to purchase a 2012 pip for 27750 before incentives taxes and registration
     
  5. Sedition

    Sedition New Member

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    Good point. A little about our family. We live in Virginia, near the Washington DC Metro area.

    During the work week, we drive 7.5 miles in the morning (day care drop off, then park at MetroRail). Evening commute is the same, but in the opposite direction.

    On weekends, we use the car to putz around town. Not sure about how many miles, because it varies... Maybe 30 miles? Long road trips may happen occasionally, but it's infrequent.

    Our house has a 240 volt junction box pre wired for a wall charger.

    Woah! That sounds like a great price. That would significantly change my calculation. Would you mind sharing how you got this price?
     
  6. g4_power

    g4_power Junior Member

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    If you're interested in a PiP, you should compare it to a standard Prius. If you're just looking to save money, you have to think about how often you could charge the battery. If you could charge at least twice a day, I think it's a good buy if you're qualify for a tax credit. The PiP will become even a better buy if you could get free electricity from your work place.

    How much you'll save will also depends on your electricity rate at home. Based on where I live, I only could save 40 cents a day after I factor in the electricity cost. And I only could charge once per day since I can't charge at work. At this rate of saving, it would take me 17 years to recover my initial investment.

    Bottom Line:

    Assuming you're qualified for tax credit. Buy it if you could charge at least twice a day (getting a full charge). You should be able to recover your initial cost of the PiP before the battery warranty expires. Definitely buy it if you could charge your car at work for free.
     
  7. fortytwok

    fortytwok Active Member

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    You shouldn't ignore the incentives and tax back - those are what make the PiP work mathwise !
    A decent easily attainable price of say 29k then becomes 26.5 making that premium difference tiny.

    Looks like your commute could be almost 100% off the once a night charging and "putzing around town" could be close as well as long as you consolidate trips +/or charge in-between.
    14 miles EV per workday x 5 days x 48 weeks = 3360 miles
    Putzing weekends + holidays and just charging once (very conservative - cd charge more) gets you up to 5,000 miles off charges. If you can charge twice on weekends then easily over 6,000 miles annually.

    6,000 miles / 50mpg x $4 = $480 savings before electricity and that could knock your savings down to low $300's
    more savings btw if you can take advantage of free chargepoints while putzing
    So maybe more like a year or two to recoup ?

    edit - to be fair I'd expect you could get a Prius 3 for under $26k
     
  8. 510bg

    510bg Member

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    I was looking at the thread what did you pay for your plug in and called ca dealers and ask for pricing based off other members purchase price. I'm not sure how many 2012s are left for sale across the country.
     
  9. mmmodem

    mmmodem Senior Taste Tester

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    Why would you ignore tax rebates and dealer incentives? They are significant enough to bring a base PiP to just a few hundred $'s above a Prius 3.

    You can ignore the wall charger. The supplied 120v EVSE will full charge the PiP up in a little less than 3 hours.

    You cannot ignore electricity as it has a significant real cost.

    Here's how I would do it:

    EPA lists a full charge at 3.2 kWh good for 11 miles. A full charge costs $0.38. That gives you a cost of $138.70/year to charge everyday for 4015 miles distance. Those same 4015 miles would cost $295.50 using EPA $3.68/gallon gasoline and 50 mpg of a regular Prius. So, you save $156.80 every year driving a PiP over a regular Prius based on EPA numbers.

    You can see, it does not make sense financially to drive a PiP if it costs thousands more than a regular Prius. You only save roughly half the cost driving electricity versus gasoline. But if the PiP was only $800 more than the Prius 3 which has the same features, your payback is 5 years. And ignore feature content differences, you can make an argument for a PiP over a Prius 2 that costs roughly, $2400 less. Your payback period will stretch to 15 years, though.
     
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  10. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    welcome to priuschat! pip isn't a math decision, it's a social/moral/conscience/environmental/fun to drive decision. :p you have the perfect driving habits, do your due dilegence, find the best deal and go for it. all the best!(y)
     
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  11. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    OK Sedition welcome to Prius chat. First of all you should get a Prius because it is a very practical car for a couple or family. However, one thing to consider, depending what town you live in, we have a new hybrid fee $64/yr in VA and in NOVA our annual property taxes hit Prius hard. So I calculate approx. $2000 extra taxes/fees on Prius compared to an equivalent non-hybrid. Exception to this would be Arlington Co. which gives tax benefit to clean fuels cars. We're going to try to get rid of the new hybrid fees, but we could be stuck with it.

    This does *not* impact your decision of PiP vs. Prius Gen3. But it means paying off a Prius with fuel savings, you need a fair amount of miles per year. Right now PiPs seem to be depreciating faster than Prius so that could actually be an advantage in VA car tax system. Dominion ELEC was offering low rates for Plug_in charging over-nite but that was a pilot program not sure if still avail. End of year purchase saves money on car (last Fall we had amazing deals on PiP) but also our car tax system reverts to blue book value after January so that helps a little vs. purchase price as tax basis for Year-1. So ideally December purchase, but this is not main consideration. Prius HOV benefits not very helpful anymore in VA unless you have older clean fuels tags, and if you use Dulles Toll Road you can use HOV with special tags, but the good HOV (I66/I395/I95) access is gone.
     
  12. markabele

    markabele owner of PiP, then Leaf, then Model 3

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    No basis for this at all. It only appears that way because of all the incentives.
     
  13. Drdiesel

    Drdiesel Active Member

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    No!
     
  14. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    pip is only depreciating faster if you paid full price like i did.;) but i know that toyota will step up on my next pip and give me a killer deal!(y)
     
  15. g4_power

    g4_power Junior Member

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    Based on this info, it seems like you won't be saving a lot of money. But since you live in an area where traffics are often congested, it's probably worth getting a PiP. By the way, during the winter months, you will get less EV miles than summer months.
     
  16. 3PriusMike

    3PriusMike Prius owner since 2000, Tesla M3 2018

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    If you are going to consider depreciation you also need to consider the long term value of the car. After driving 100K miles in a regular Prius it has some residual value. If you drive 50% of your miles on EV in a PIP, after 100K miles your engine will only have 50K miles on it. Even if the PIP battery is hugely degraded, it is still a better battery than the much smaller one in a regular Prius at this point--even if you never plug it in again.

    Mike
     
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  17. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    Since they are only going 7.5 mile that seems to fit nicely with 100% EV ride, right?

    OK some are debating my depreciation point, but mainly I am saying in Virginia car tax scenario you can pay through the proverbial "wazzoo" (sp?) for something like a Highlander Hybrid >$35,000 and it retains value to well you get plastered every year on the tax. I do not see PiP being too much more car tax in VA than a Gen3.
     
  18. retired4999

    retired4999 Prius driver since 2005

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    I hope you are right! I'm ready for a 2015-16 up-grade, this is great fun! I have not been to a gas station in four months. :p
     
  19. wjtracy

    wjtracy Senior Member

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    2012 PiP would be great idea for VA scenario
     
  20. g4_power

    g4_power Junior Member

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    The best fit is someone who needs to drive 15 miles to work, then get free electricity from work to charge the battery and then drive 15 miles back home. Again, get a full charge at home and take the PiP for the evening around town. In this situation, the owner got 3 full charges per day and one free one from work.

    Driving 7.5 x 2 miles is 15 miles total. That means he only need one full charge per day. The PiP is a good fit but it's not something that will save him a lot of money. And if he has to pay taxes every year for being a hybrid owner, that is not a good thing. He may end up loosing money.
     
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