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So lets start off with a pretty straight forward question. Assuming that we are only talking about cost of putting fuel in the car, and not the cost of the car or replacing batteries in a few years etc. Which car swap will save you more at the pump:

1) Getting rid of your 15 mpg truck and trading it in for a mid size sedan that gets 23 mpg (8 mpg better thats a 53% economy increase)

or

2) Trading in your mid size sedan that gets 23 mpg and getting a hybrid that gets 50 mpg (27 mpg better thats a 117% economy increase)

The answer may surprise you, it is number one. Which is why its more important to get out of a real gas hog, and into something reasonable, than to go spend thousands more to get a few MPG. The reason this math works like this is because as you get better millage it scales with diminishing returns the higher you go. Sometimes math is a funny thing, and we humans often get things wrong when we just make a quick mental judgement without actually doing the math. I've given the following talk a few times, and it amazes me how our minds just don't see the truth...and even after I explain it, a good number of people still think I'm doing the math wrong. The bottom line is that in the end, given todays typical fuel economy numbers, any vehicle that gets 30+ is great, your not saving yourself a lot of money trying to get a few mpg more just doesn't normally pay for itself.

THE MATH:::

assuming 250 mile commute and gas at $3.50/gal

Truck 15 MPG will cost $70/week in gas

Sedan 23 MPG will cost $45/week in gas (saving $25/week vs Truck)

Hybrid 50 MPG will cost $21/week in gas (saving $24/week vs Sedan)

Also please note that in the real word your not likely to average 50mpg in the hybrid, but 23 is very realistic for a sedan