The Vincentric Hybrid Analysis showed that approximately one-third of hybrids save consumers money, with 10 of 31 hybrids measured having a lower total cost of ownership than their all-gasoline powered counterparts.
The average price premium for a hybrid was $4,325, with an average fuel cost savings of $2,895. When all costs to own and operate a hybrid were taken into account, the average cost of ownership for hybrids was $1,445 more than the all-gasoline powered counterparts. The range between the best and least savings was significant, with the 2014 Lexus CT 200h saving buyers $7,632 while the 2014 Lexus GS 450h cost buyers over $8,155 more to own. The full study is published below.
There are many different approaches for comparing hybrids to their all gas counterparts. At Vincentric, we have prepared different reports to help users understand the financial dynamics of hybrid vehicles. By doing so, we enable users to better understand the expected costs (or savings) of driving a hybrid, resulting in the ability to make a more informed decision when considering the purchase of a hybrid vehicle.
Fuel prices used in these reports are based on a weighted average over the previous five months, so you may notice that they don't necessarily reflect current prices during times of rapid fuel price changes. This is done to help ensure that the analysis reflects current market trends and not market extremes.
The reports assume 15,000 miles are driven annually, and the vehicle is owned five years. It is also worthwhile to understand that the numbers shown are U.S. averages, although the same analysis can be done for any state or the District of Columbia.
Please note the reports below use data from our August 2014 database update. Vincentric compares hybrid vehicles to their all-gas counterparts based on a similar trim level. Cost differentials may differ if other trims are analyzed.
COST OF OWNERSHIP AND FUEL COST COMPARISON
There has been much debate over whether the premium price that hybrid vehicles command can be financially justified. In this analysis, there were 10 hybrids that can be financially justified purely based on the total cost of ownership numbers. The following hybrid vehicles had cost of ownership savings compared to their all-gasoline powered counterparts:
- 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 whose purchase of a hybrid is based upon minimizing the environmental impact and not strictly financially driven, the report identifies additional viable vehicles. The following hybrid vehicles had ownership costs that, although higher than their all-gas counterparts, were within $2,000 over 5 years.
- 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid ($788)
- 2014 Honda Civic Hybrid ($1,324)
- 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid ($221)
- 2014 Subaru XV Crosstrek Hybrid ($999)
- 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid ($1,198)
In addition to carbon emission improvements, hybrids are known for their improved fuel economy. The models that provide the greatest benefit and fuel cost savings over their gas-only counterparts are:
- 2014 Infiniti Q70 Hybrid ($4,993)
- 2014 Lexus CT 200h ($6,185)
- 2014 Lexus ES 300h ($4,455)
- 2014 Toyota Avalon Hybrid ($4,455)
- 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid S ($4,265)
Of course for those who are looking to minimize fuel purchases, it is important to know the 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)
Further detail regarding the cost of ownership and fuel consumption for each hybrid and its all-gas counterpart can be found by clicking the links below.
Hybrid Analysis Cost of Ownership Comparison: Excel Report or PDF Report
WHY DO OWNERSHIP COSTS DIFFER BETWEEN HYBRIDS AND THEIR GAS COUNTERPARTS?
In most cases studied, the hybrid vehicle had a higher market price than its gas alternative, which causes several cost factors to increase including depreciation, finance, opportunity costs and fees and taxes. The analysis shows that in approximately one-third of the cases, fuel cost savings associated with hybrid vehicles are able to offset their price premium. However, hybrids are becoming less cost-effective as they lose their competitive edge due to the improved fuel economy of gas-powered combustion engines and falling fuel prices. Ultimately, it’s important for consumers to look at their needs and the specific models available to them because depending on the negotiated price, driving patterns and intended length of ownership a hybrid can still be a great value.
Click here to view the press release announcing the Hybrid Analysis.
*This page was updated and revised at 1:30pm EDT on October 31, 2014.
See the 2014 Vincentric Best Value in America award winning hybrid vehicles.
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