August 23, 2006

Some hybrids becoming sensible purchases, says

Santa Monica, California – A new study by shows that despite higher sales prices, some hybrids – though not all – can make good financial sense. For the latest installment of its Fuel Economy Guide, compared the sale price and annual gas expenses of hybrid vehicles to their non-hybrid counterparts.

“Our study revealed that high gas prices and generous tax credits now offset the high sales prices of some hybrids, assuming owners keep their hybrids for a few years,” says Alex Rosten, Manager, Pricing and Market Analysis.

The study indicates that, assuming the vehicle is driven 24,140 km (15,000 miles) each year, the higher purchase price is completely recovered for the Ford Escape Hybrid and Toyota Prius within three years of ownership, while buyers of the Honda Civic Hybrid, Saturn Vue Green Line and Toyota Camry Hybrid reach break-even within six years. The study used U.S. pricing and tax credits on hybrid vehicles, and assumed a fuel cost of US$3.00 per gallon.

The study found that at 24,140 km (15,000 miles) driven per year, it would take 5.7 years to break even on the Saturn Vue Green Line; 2.9 for Ford Escape Hybrid; 2.1 for Toyota Prius; 11.3 for Honda Accord Hybrid; and 15.5 for Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

At 40,233 km (25,000 miles) per year, it would take 3.4 years for the Saturn Vue Green Line, 1.7 for the Ford Escape Hybrid, 1.2 for the Toyota Prius, 6.8 for the Honda Accord Hybrid, and 9.3 for the Toyota Highlander Hybrid.

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