Hybrids – Vehicles, Battery & Hydraulic Technology

Edmunds.com Evaluates Payback Period of Hybrid and Diesel Vehicles

April 01, 2010

Fluctuating gas prices, expiring tax credits and economic instability have many consumers wondering if purchasing a hybrid or diesel vehicle is the most cost-effective choice in today's market. An updated study by Edmunds.com compares the payback period of the newest hybrid and diesel vehicles compared to their gasoline vehicle counterparts.

"As a general rule, we found that diesels are more affordable than hybrids, taking into account the vehicles' prices, tax credits and fuel usage," notes Edmunds' AutoObserver.com Senior Editor Bill Visnic, who participated in the panel "The Green Car of the Future" with representatives from BMW, Toyota and The New York Times, this evening at the Japan Society in New York.

Set forth below are the annual gas savings and payback periods for the latest hybrid and diesel models as compared to their gasoline-driven counterparts:

 

Sample Hybrid Comparisons:

Year

Make

Model

Federal Tax Credit

 

True Market Value

Hybrid Premium

Annual Hybrid Gas Savings

Years to Break Even

2010

BMW

7 Series

 

$82,613

 

 

 

2010

BMW

Active Hybrid 7

$0

$103,175

$20,562

$362

56.8

2010

Cadillac

Escalade

 

$66,992

 

 

 

2010

Cadillac

Escalade Hybrid

$2,200

$67,140

$148

$801

0.2

2010

Chevrolet

Tahoe

 

$43,160

 

 

 

2010

Chevrolet

Tahoe Hybrid

$2,200

 

$47,626

$4,466

$483

9.3

2010

Ford

Escape

 

$23,608

 

 

 

2010

Ford

Escape Hybrid

$750

$28,261

$4,653

 

$543

8.6

2010

Ford

Fusion

 

$21,484

 

 

 

2010

Ford

Fusion Hybrid

$850

$26,229

$4,745

$573

8.3

2010

GMC

Sierra

 

$32,753

 

 

 

2010

GMC

Sierra Hybrid

$2,200

$35,792

$3,039

$442

6.9

2010

GMC

Yukon

 

$44,883

 

 

 

2010

GMC

Yukon Hybrid

$2,200

$48,320

$3,437

$483

7.1

2010

Honda

Civic

 

$19,245

 

 

 

2010

Honda

Civic Hybrid

$0

$22,526

$3,281

$453

7.2

2010

Honda

Civic

 

$17,489

 

 

 

2010

Honda

Insight

$0

$19,222

$1,733

$434

4.0

2010

Lexus

ES 350

 

$33,702

 

 

 

2010

Lexus

HS 250h

$0

$33,336

-$366

$894

-0.4

2010

Lexus

LS 460

 

$70,763

 

 

 

2010

Lexus

LS 600h L

$0

$100,603

$29,840

$277

107.6

2010

Lexus

RX 350

 

$35,913

 

 

 

2010

Lexus

RX 450h

$0

$40,855

$4,942

$709

7.0

2010

Mercedes-Benz

S-Class

 

 

$89,254

 

 

 

2010

Mercedes-Benz

S-Class Hybrid

$1,150

$84,592

-$4,662

$462-

10.1

2010

Mercury

Mariner

 

$23,302

 

 

 

2010

Mercury

Mariner Hybrid

$750

$28,652

$5,350

$437

12.2

2010

Mercury

Milan

 

$24,346

 

 

 

2010

Mercury

Milan Hybrid

$850

$26,417

 

$2,071

$573

3.6

2010

Nissan

Altima

 

$21,476

 

 

 

2010

Nissan

Altima Hybrid

$2,350

$23,824

$2,348

 

$364

6.5

2010

Toyota

Camry

 

$24,499

 

 

 

2010

Toyota

Camry Hybrid

$0

$25,014

$515

$386

1.3

2010

Toyota

Camry

 

$20,924

 

 

 

2010

Toyota

Prius

$0

$22,918

$1,994

$797

2.5

2010

Toyota

Highlander

 

$27,665

 

 

 

2010

Toyota

Highlander Hybrid

$0

$33,244

$5,579

$571

9.8

 

Sample Diesel Comparisons:

Year

Make

Model

Tax Credit

 

Final TMV

Diesel Premium

Annual Gas Cost

Years to Break Even

2010

Audi

A3

$0

$28,413

 

$1,731

 

2010

Audi

A3

$1,300

$28,250

-$163

$1,285

-0.4

2010

Audi

Q7

$0

$46,296

 

$2,654

 

2010

Audi

Q7

$1,150

$49,266

$2,970

$2,228

7.0

2010

BMW

3 Series

$0

$39,209

 

$2,093

 

2010

BMW

3 Series

$900

$41,740

$2,531

$1,611

5.3

2010

BMW

X5

$0

$46,475

 

$2,449

 

2010

BMW

X5

$1,800

$48,229

$1,754

$2,047

4.4

2010

Mercedes-Benz

GL-Class

$0

$59,237

 

$2,899

 

 

2010

Mercedes-Benz

GL-Class

$1,800

$56,485

-$2,752

$2,297

-4.6

2010

Mercedes-Benz

M-Class

$0

$47,023

 

$2,494

 

2010

Mercedes-Benz

M-Class

$900

$47,565

$542

 

$2,149

1.6

2010

Mercedes-Benz

R-Class

$0

$48,092

 

$2,654

 

2010

Mercedes-Benz

R-Class

$1,550

$47,986

-$106

$2,182

-0.2

2010

Volkswagen

Golf

$0

$20,979

 

$1,804

 

2010

Volkswagen

Golf

$1,700

$22,910

$1,931

$1,285

3.7

2010

Volkswagen

Jetta

$0

$21,632

 

$1,804

 

2010

Volkswagen

Jetta

$1,300

$22,852

$1,220

$1,285

2.4

2010

Volkswagen

Touareg

$0

$39,358

 

$2,654

 

2010

Volkswagen

Touareg

$1,150

$41,494

$2,136

$2,149

4.2

 

This study assumed the vehicles were sold at the Edmunds.com True Market Value price, were driven 15,000 miles per year and achieved the Environmental Protection Agency's recorded mileage for combined city and highway driving. Average gas prices were assumed to be $3.09 per gallon of premium unleaded, $2.81 per gallon of regular unleaded and $2.95 per gallon of diesel.

The federal tax credit and current incentives were applied when appropriate. Please note that Ford and Mercury hybrid vehicle tax credits will be eliminated on April 1, 2010, but consumers who order one before March 31 qualify for the credit. Tax credits for Honda and Toyota hybrids have already been phased out.

 

 

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