U.S. Department of Energy: Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

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Vehicle Cost Calculator Helps You Add up the Savings

November 2, 2011

When most people go to the car dealership, they take a hard look at the vehicle's window sticker. But, that initial price doesn't tell the whole story. By showing only the up-front cost, the sticker price leaves out operating costs such as fuel and maintenance, which can add up over time. To help consumers sort through their options, DOE's Clean Cities initiative just introduced the new Vehicle Cost Calculator and its accompanying widget on the Alternative Fuel and Advanced Vehicles Data Center website.

The cost calculator provides consumers an opportunity to take the long view by providing both a vehicle’s lifetime cost and its cost-per-mile. Users can compare different technologies, including conventional, alternative fuel, and electric drive vehicles. The results aren’t just limited to new vehicles; in fact, the database has data on models all the way back to 1996. To personalize their results, users enter their driving habits, local price of fuel, and available tax credits. By seeing beyond the dealership sticker, consumers can choose the vehicles that best meet their needs today and in the future. See the Energy Blog post.

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Content Last Updated: 01/25/2010