"I honestly admire Toyota," said Norio Ano, who oversees the development of Honda's Insight hybrid. Mr. Ano was responding to a media question about the pricing of its archrival vehicle – the Toyota Prius.

Recently, I wrote a special feature titled with what sounds like a bad joke, "The Insight's Impact," for Nikkei Automotive Technology. While writing the article, I figured out a formula to determine whether or not buying a hybrid car would pay for itself. I think the formula is convenient, but I have never seen it in any automotive or shopping magazines. So, I am introducing the formula so a wider variety of readers can also use it.

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