Letters: How much do the Priuses really save?
Vail CO, Colorado
Priuses not saving much
County spokesman Justin Finestone’s comment about the county saving $45,000 this year by buying 20 Priuses is somewhat misleading.
The Priuses (on average) cost $25,000 for a total cost (multiply by 20) of $500,000. That is $500,000 of fuel, energy and associated pollution involved with the mining, processing, manufacturing, and transportation of materials for the new Priuses.
Using the Finestone’s figures, each vehicle saves $4,680 per year in fuel over the previous fleet. Therefore they must keep the Priuses for 5.34 years to justify the purchase. My point is that buying a new vehicle every two to five years does not necessarily translate into savings or less pollution. there is some economic and environmental sense in maintaining an older fleet in good working order as long as possible.