Chevrolet Volt Cheaper to Drive Than Toyota Prius Plug-in for Sub-70 Mile Journeys

Danny Choy
by Danny Choy

While the Toyota Prius has long been the automotive ambassador of the green movement, Pike Research conducted a Cost of Driving test to find out whether the all new 2012 Toyota Prius Plug-in can trump the Chevrolet Volt. According to its findings, by first establishing the price for every gallon of gas at $3.50 and every kilowatt-hour for 11 cents for the test, the Volt earned a more economic and cost effective result than a Prius Plug-in for trips under 70 miles.

For the first 15 miles of the graph, the lines are not visible because both vehicles will be capable running full electric. By 30 miles, the Volt’s cost for every mile gets significantly more expensive until it eventually crosses over Prius’ costs at 70 miles of driving.

Of course, if pricing parameters on gas and electricity were to change, then a different result would surface. All in all, customers should consider their driving routines day to day. When trips taken are no longer than 70 miles, as is often the case in urban regions where electric vehicles are popular, then a Volt proves to be more appealing.

GALLERY: Toyota Prius Plug-in & Chevrolet Volt

[Source: Autoblog Green]

Danny Choy
Danny Choy

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  • Tom Tom on Nov 12, 2011

    CA, The biggest problem with this analysis is 1)the 24k prius you are talking about doesn't exist for the plugin....24k is for a basic prius non-plug in; 2) The analysis done by autoguide assumes that for the first 15 miles, both vehicles are running on electric. Any 120 mile trip is likely to be mostly highway miles (at least it is for my roundtrip commute everday). The electric motor on a prius runs at 'near highway speeds'. In fact, from the literature I've read, the Prius plug-in cannot run on it's electric motor over 62 mPH. The Volt can, so the curve in the autoglide graph should have started to separate before the first 15 miles. 3) I note that at 30 miles, the Prius plugin slope flattens a bit, which does not make sense...nothing changes for the Prius Plug-in after the first 15 miles of all electric driving (which would not happen on the highway unless you drove at 62 or less), so I'm not sure why the analysis has a change in the slope to show slower growth of the total dollars spent for the Prius.

  • Rxonmymind Rxonmymind on Oct 11, 2012

    Thanks for the write up. Very informative ;)