Hybrid electric vehicles are passenger models that use two energy sources: gasoline or diesel fuel and electricity. The Toyota Prius is the best-selling hybrid model, but there are dozens of other hybrids sold by a variety of manufacturers. Because hybrids cost more than equivalent standard models, consumers may be leery about the added cost. You can save money with a hybrid electric vehicle by weighing the following considerations.
Think Long Term
If you plan to keep your hybrid electric vehicle for just a few years, you may never recover the cost of your investment. Car manufacturers typically tack on an additional $2,000 or more to the sticker price of a hybrid compared to a similarly equipped gasoline-powered model. You can learn when that payback should be achieved by figuring out the cost of operating both a gasoline and hybrid model. For example, if you drive 15,000 miles per year and your gasoline-powered car is rated at 25 mpg, then you use 600 gallons of fuel each year. At $4.00 per gallon, your annual fuel cost is $2,400.
Now let’s take an equivalent hybrid model, one that is rated at 35 mpg. For 15,000 miles driven, your annual fuel consumption is 428.57 gallons. At $4.00 per gallon, your hybrid’s annual fuel cost is $1,714 or $686 less than a gasoline-powered model. If you pay $3,000 extra for your hybrid, then it would take 4.37 years or about 4 years and 4 months to recoup your investment (In this example, divide $3,000 by $686 to determine the recoupment time). If you plan to keep your hybrid beyond its payback period, then you will save money.
Consider This Hybrid Electric Vehicle
Car manufacturers typically pass along the cost of hybrid technology to consumers. It is a price premium that often causes consumers to pause and reflect before making a hybrid electric vehicle purchase decision.
One manufacturer, the Ford Motor Company, removed the price disparity for one of its hybrid vehicles. The Lincoln MKZ midsize sedan. Both the standard and the hybrid MKZ are priced the same with no equipment differences except the hybrid has run-flat tires and no spare. MKZ buyers also save at the pump immediately as the hybrid model is rated at 45 mpg and the gasoline model at 26 mpg.
Yes, the MKZ is no longer made, but the price differential between gas and hybrid models continues to shrink. Toyota is one example of where the differences are as low as $1,000.
Understand Your Costs
One factor that may scare new car shoppers away from hybrid models is the possibility of being saddled with a huge bill following the failure of the hybrid battery system. However, much of that concern has been removed as manufacturers responded by offering hybrid battery system warranties for eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first.
In some states, including California and New Jersey, the warranties are for 10 years or 150,000 miles, whichever comes first. One model, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, offers a lifetime warranty on its hybrid battery pack. That warranty covers the cost of replacing a failed hybrid battery and the disposal of the old battery.
Consider Other Savings
Hybrids can also save you in other ways besides money, including your time. In some states, such as in Virginia, high occupancy vehicle (HOV) access is granted to vehicles with clean vehicle fuel plates. Instead of finding yourself stuck in traffic with everyone else, HOV access allows hybrid drivers to use restricted lanes even with no other person in the car.
An environmental savings benefit is also found with a hybrid. These vehicles emit fewer pollutants, putting less stress on the environment. Your hybrid may not save the planet, but it can help you do your part to make it cleaner.
Hybrid Electric Vehicle Conclusion
Consumers can save money on hybrid models by doing their homework before visiting dealer showrooms. Like other models, hybrids often include such incentives as cashback and discounted financing, reducing your overall purchase costs accordingly.
See Also — The Hyundai Santa Fe Hybrid Electrifies