Canadian study shows few Hybrids save money

Less than one-quarter cost less than gasoline counterparts over five-year period

Published: January 8, 2015, 6:40 PM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 2:07 PM

2013 Lincoln MKZ

Last fall, a U.S. study by Vincentric revealed that only 10 of 31 hybrids analyzed had a lower total cost-of-ownership than their closest gasoline-only counterparts.  Now, Vincentric, which specializes in cost-of-ownership analysis, has released the results of a parallelCanadian study with similar results.

2014 Lexus CT 200h

It concludes that just seven of 29 hybrid vehicles analyzed in this country resulted in a lower total cost-of-ownership than their gasoline counterpart.

Among those hybrids with lower ownership costs, the Lexus CT200h and Lincoln MKZ Hybrid achieved the greatest savings, more than$11,500 and $4,000 respectively over five years.

Other hybrids from Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, and Toyota also showed cost advantages.

The average price premium for a hybrid vehicle in Canada was $5,984 with average fuel cost savings of $3,986, resulting in an average five-year cost-of-ownership hybrids deficit of $2,976.

“The higher market prices of hybrids cause several cost factors to increase including finance, opportunity costs, fees and taxes, and depreciation," said Vincentric president, David Wurster. "In some cases fuel cost savings can help offset these costs, but with fuel prices decreasing approximately 33% in the past six months, increased fuel efficiency alone is not always enough to keep hybrids competitive with their all-gas counterparts.”

Wurster added that, "with nearly a quarter of hybrids still offering cost advantages, it is important that consumers look at individual models to understand the cost implications of hybrid technology for that vehicle."

To conduct the Canadian Hybrid Analysis, Vincentric measured total cost-of-ownership using eight different cost factors: depreciation, fees & taxes, financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance, opportunity cost, and repairs.

The analysis assumed vehicle ownership of five years and 25,000 annual kilometes of driving. Fuel prices used in these reports are based on a weighted average over the previous five months, so they don't necessarily reflect current prices during times of rapid fuel price changes. This approach is taken to help ensure that the analysis reflects current market trends and not market extremes.


 The following hybrid vehicles had cost of ownership savings compared to their all-gasoline powered counterparts: 

> 2014 Lexus CT 200h ( $11,535)

> 2014 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid ( $4,074)

> 2014 Ford C-Max Hybrid ( $3,441)

> 2014 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid ( $2,909)

> 2014 Lexus ES 300h ( $1,418)

> 2014 Toyota Prius c ( $609)

> 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid ( $322)

For those whose purchase of a hybrid is based upon minimizing the environmental impact and not strictly financially driven, the following hybrid vehicles had ownership costs thatwere within $3,000 over 5 years. 

> 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid (-$321)

> 2014 Infiniti QX60 Hybrid (-$588)

> 2014 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid (-$645)

> 2014 Toyota Camry Hybrid (-$695)

> 2014 Ford Fusion Hybrid (-$2,684)

All other hybrids evaluated had cost of ownership deficits of more than $3,000 over five years.