Yahoo! Green – May 30, 2008
This is an interesting study regarding the cost of hybrids. With the price of gas so high, many people are considering a hybrid for their go to work car even if they have a larger vehicle for hauling the kids to the soccer game. The folks at Yahoo! Green did a simple cost analysis which I am not sure is 100% accurate but at least gets you thinking a bit. I recreated their spreadsheet for your review.
Several things that don’t add up or that I question:
- A big part of the cost savings is the residual value of the vehicle. These are always guesses and the high residual value of a Prius is much more speculative – these vehicles really haven’t hit the used car market in droves to validate that price. If the resale value is lower than the assumption then you may be upside down.
- I know that some families are considering a hybrid for commuting trips of one or 2 members but reserving a larger car for family trips and errands with the “entire soccer team”. If you drive the hybrid less, it may not reward you with the higher efficiency.
- I couldn’t tie the maintenance cost that the original authors came up with so I did my own calculation (hence my numbers are slightly different from theirs). This assumption may not be valid since a Prius is a more complicated vehicle it may incur more breakdowns or parts may need fixed more often. I added a new row that accounts for this but it is a guess as to the true cost.
- The cost of purchase includes the cost of the interest payments. Most people do not pay off their vehicles in 2 years so if the loan length is longer, the Prius’ larger cost will play a higher role in the calculation. Also, I am not sure why the site assumed a 36 month loan percentage from e-loan and then paid it off in 24 months – this is probably good financial logic but they could have been more clear.
|Buy & Sell|
|New Cost||$23,384||21,250||$17751||Kelley Blue Book new price for Prius vs 4D, 4-cyl, Accord/Civic LX Automatic Sedan for 80302 zipcode|
|Resale Value||$18,135||13,975||12,290||2005 Kelley Blue Book Good Private Party typical miles & typically equipped in 80302 zipcode|
|MPG||46||24||29||Revised, combined EPA estimates from fueleconomy.gov|
|Total gas costs||$3,260.87||$6,250.00||$5,172.41|
|Oil changes||13||13||13||assume oil change every 3000 miles|
|Other Maintenance||$200||$200||$200||15k & 30k service. Others under warranty.|
|Extra Prius Maintenance||$1,000||Is It Warmer website assumption|
|Lifetime Maintenance total||$1,790||$790||$790|
|Interest Rate||.0699||.0699||.0699||e-loan, < 36 month loan for new car|
|Loan length (months)||24||24||24|
|Cost to Own||$12,040.41||$15,896.70||$12,744.67|
|Percent of Prius||132%||106%|
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