If you're thinking about buying a fuel-efficient hybrid, electric or otherwise eco-friendly vehicle as a way to save money over time, do your homework — or be prepared to wait.
Buyers who choose Nissan's all-electric Leaf ($28,421) over its approximate gas-powered equivalent, Nissan's Versa ($18,640), will likely wait nearly 9 years until they break even.
For drivers of the Chevrolet Volt ($31,767), the wait is even longer— 26.6 years.
A few vehicles begin paying off relatively soon after leaving the dealership. Two hybrids— Toyota's Prius ($23,537) and Lincoln's MKZ ($33,887)— as well as Volkswagen's diesel-powered Jetta TDI ($25,242) all take less than two years before they start saving their owners money.