Most hybrid cars won’t save you any green
A new study finds that most conventionally-powered gas cars are still more cost-effective to own than their hybrid counterparts.
Automotive data firm Vincentric crunched the numbers on 29 hybrids and their gas counterparts and found that just seven gas-electric vehicles had a cost advantage over their fossil fuel brethren. Those seven vehicles included the Ford Fusion Hybrid, Toyota Prius C, Lexus CT 200h (which was compared to the IS 200t), Lexus ES 300h, Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Toyota Avalon Hybrid and Audi Q5 Hybrid. The study assumed a five-year ownership period with 15,000 miles driven annually.
Although hybrid vehicles are more fuel efficient than their gas siblings, several factors contributed to the lopsided financial victory for the conventionally-powered cars. The most obvious is that hybrid cars simply cost more than their gas-only versions. Interestingly, however, that higher sticker price doesn’t always contribute to stronger resale values, with some hybrid cars seeing a higher depreciation rate than their gas alternatives. Another contributing factor is that gas engines are more efficient than ever, so the fuel savings realized by jumping to a hybrid model aren’t as great as they once were.
The overall champ of the study was the Lexus CT 200h, which saved an observed $8,728 over a similar Lexus IS 200t. Making for the perfect bookend, Lexus was also on the losing end of the hybrid cost analysis, with the LS 600h L netting total ownership cost that was $28,178 more than the regular LS 460.