For those of you interested in learning about plug-in hybrids and electric cars, plugincars has an on-line users guide.  You can also check out The Car Electric here.

Meanwhile autobloggreen tells us that the US Department of Energy has analyzed the cost of owning a Chevy Volt. On a pure operating cost basis, the Volt is cheaper to operate than its cousin the Chevy Cruze.  However, when purchase price is taken into account (fixed costs), the Cruze is the much better buy.  As autobloggreen concludes:

The graph at the top shows that the overall operating costs of the Volt are higher, but that has more to do with the Volt costing twice as much as the Cruze Eco than its operating cost over time. Looking at just operating costs, however, the Volt beats the Cruze in every category.

Moreover, as our friend Fred points out, the DOE calculation requires some rather important assumptions about costs that will likely vary over the timeframe of the comparison. Assumptions about future gasoline and electricity rates are critical.  What about depreciation (certainly unknown for the Volt at this early stage)? There is also the question of the life span of the batteries, which will vary depending on whether you fast or slow charge, and the type of driving you do.  Battery cost is another very big question mark, especially if EV hybrids suddenly get traction in the auto market.

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