We hear the question often: do hybrid vehicles really save money?
Research company Vincentric, specialized in cost-of-ownership data, studied the matter.
In releasing its most recent Hybrid Analysis, the company stated 10 of 31 hybrid vehicles analyzed were identified as having a lower total cost-of-ownership than their closest all-gasoline counterpart.
Over the past three years the percentage of cost-effective hybrids has dropped from 44 percent in the 2012 analysis, to 39 percent in 2013, to now just over 32 percent.
Vincentric said among the 10 hybrids with lower ownership costs were the Lexus CT 200h and the Toyota Avalon Hybrid, which when compared to their all-gasoline counterparts had savings of over $7,600 and $3,200 respectively. Additional hybrids from Acura, Audi, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, Lincoln, and Toyota also showed cost advantages.
However, when the costs to own and operate all 31 hybrid vehicles were taken into account, the average five-year cost-of-ownership for hybrids was $1,339 more than their all-gasoline powered counterparts.
“In some cases, fuel cost savings associated with hybrid vehicles are able to offset their price premium. However, hybrids are losing their competitive edge due to the improved fuel economy of gas-powered combustion engines and falling fuel prices,” said David Wurster, Vincentric President. “Consumers must look at individual models to determine whether a hybrid or its gas-powered counterpart has lower ownership costs and will save them money in the long run.”
To conduct the Hybrid Analysis, Vincentric explained it measured total cost-of-ownership using eight different cost factors: depreciation, fees & taxes, financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance, opportunity cost, and repairs. The analysis assumed vehicle ownership of five years and 15,000 annual miles of driving.
The ten hybrid vehicles Vincentric found were offering savings are as follow:
- 2014 Acura ILX Hybrid ($1,613)
- 2014 Audi Q5 Hybrid ($2,611)
- 2014 Honda Insight ($86)
- 2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid ($1,379)
- 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid ($191)
- 2014 Lexus CT 200h ($7,632)
- 2014 Lexus ES 300h ($1,179)
- 2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid ($3,252)
- 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid ($3,356)
- 2014 Toyota Camry 2014.5 Hybrid ($1,075)
For those who drive more and are focused solely on fuel cost, Vincentric listed the five hybrid vehicles with the lowest overall fuel costs. They are:
- 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid ($6,068)
- 2014 Honda Civic Hybrid ($6,378)
- 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid ($6,784)
- 2014 Honda Insight ($6,833)
2014 Lexus CT 200h ($6,947)
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