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With $2 Gas, the Toyota Prius Is for Drivers Who Stink at Math

It now takes years of fuel savings to cover the price premium on hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius
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There’s a big discount on driving these days, thanks to the drill-baby-drill refrain at OPEC that's echoed in Texas and North Dakota. The savings are most concentrated for those driving cars with old-fashioned combustion engines. A road trip in a Ford F-150 pickup from New York to Los Angeles costs about $292 at the moment, roughly $84 less than it did just two years ago. A stop for gas in the middle of the country will cost less than $2 per gallon.

All this is a major problem for anyone trying to sell hybrid and electric vehicles. Electric engines and their massive batteries have never been cheap. A big part of the sales equation—savings at the fuel pump—has virtually vanished.