Report: Hybrids are becoming more affordable

Are all hybrids created equally? Certainly not, especially when you consider how many of them have overall ownership costs which are now considered lower than their all gas counterparts. That’s one of the main takeaways from recent research data released by Vincentric around this topic.

Vincentric, in its analysis of ownership costs of hybrids, found 13 of 33 vehicles had a lower total cost-of-ownership than their all-gasoline counterparts. The pack was led by the Lexus CT 200h and the Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, which when compared to their all-gasoline counterparts had savings of over $6,300 and $4,700 respectfully. Additional hybrids from Acura, Audi, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota and Volkswagen showed cost advantages as well, with Toyota having three models alone (Avalon, Prius C, Prius V).

image via Lexus

There is a downside to this data, however. Though there was an increase of two vehicles considered cost effective over last year’s survey, overall, with the increased number of hybrids available, the percentage of financially cost-effective models dipped from 44% to 39%. Also, when the costs “to own and operate all 33 hybrid vehicles were taken into account, the average five-year cost-of-ownership for hybrids was $1,338 more than their all-gasoline powered counterparts, assuming an annual mileage of 15,000.”

“Because over half of the hybrids we evaluated have higher five-year ownership costs compared to their all-gasoline counterparts,” said David Wurster, President of Vincentric, in a statement, “it is important that consumers look at individual models to understand the cost implications of hybrid technology for that vehicle.”

Some other interesting take aways from this study included the fact the average price premium for a hybrid was $4,647, with an average fuel cost savings of $3,371; and that the range between the best and worst savings was significant, with the 2013 Lexus CT 200h saving buyers $6,379, while the 2013 GMC Yukon Hybrid cost buyers over $9,171 more to own.

* Nino Marchetti, EarthTechling