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Hybrids in the News



  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Gen1 Prius ( pretty basic ) CD + cruise was $21500
    2001 Camry LE ( last yr of Gen4 ) CD + cruise + pwr seat was ~$19500 typically, if memory serves me well.
  • markjennmarkjenn Posts: 1,142
    Both cars cost around $20K new.

    Looking forward, I'd anticipate hybrid depreciation to be slightly more than conventional, both because the technology is going to be changing somewhat more rapidly (the two-year old IPod factor mentioned), and because of the battery replacement cost. But I doubt it will be dramatic. People cherry-pick data to make a point, but generally, in a given vehicle class, depreciation rates are remarkably similar across many different models.

    I view CR's accelerated hybrid depreciation to be a little too aggressive, but who knows. OTOH, I think their prediction of gas prices nearly doubling in five years to be too high and this cuts back the other way. Probably a wash.

    You don't want to put too fine a point on these analyses, as you pay too much attention to the trees rather than the forest. The general (corrected) CR conclusion is probably the best overall guideline: the most cost-effective hybrids today (e.g., the Civic and Prius) are probably close to economic break-even, the worst (the big SUVs) are going to run you a grand or so per year extra.

    And there are other confounding factors that change each individual's economics. Are you going to finance the extra hybrid cost or just use cash? (This changes who much bite the initial hybrid cost hits you with.) And does your tax situation allow you to take full advantage of the tax credits? And what about state tax credits?

    I don't see a safety angle to hybrids, either way. I've never seen any data that indicates hybrids are either more or less safe as a class of cars, and for models in which there is both a hybrid and non-hybrid version, I've never seen any data showing either model is safer than the other.

    - Mark
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,563
    So the Prius is at 37% of the price while the Camry is at 34%.

    Now the question is are these selling prices or sticker prices? IIRC the prius was selling at sticker plus while the camry has always been selling for less than sticker.

    There are three types of people in this world. Those who are good at math and those who are not.

  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,563
    The general (corrected) CR conclusion is probably the best overall guideline: the most cost-effective hybrids today (e.g., the Civic and Prius) are probably close to economic break-even, the worst (the big SUVs) are going to run you a grand or so per year extra.

    I ran a slightly different analysis of CR data. I used their data to calculate the Internal Rate of Return (IRR) for the cars they looked at. Presuming maintanince and repair and insurance costs are spread out equally over the 5 years and that $5K is put down and the car is financed at 6% for 60 months. I calculated that most of the hybrids will return a greater percentage of the money invested, but just barely.

    That does not mean that the Hybrid was cheaper, most cases you spent more on the hybrid.

    There are three types of people in this world. Those who are good at math and those who are not.

  • library1library1 Posts: 54
    The table inside summarizes the recent insurance injury, collision, and theft losses....Results are based on the loss experience of 2002-04 models from their first sales
    through May 2005. For vehicles that were newly introduced or redesigned during these years, the results shown in this publication are based only on the most recent model years for which the vehicle designs were unchanged — either 2003-04 or 2004 only.

    1. This is for the Prius 2004 MY. The first gen Prius was almost as good. You may be able to find the earlier table at the IIHS website.

    2. This is not a test. These are the actual medical costs of injuries for people who's Prius was in a crash.

    3. Its a good idea to have an authoritative source for any discussion.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Sticker/selling price on the Prius Gen1
    Typical Transaction price on the Camry LE. ( sticker was in the $21000 range )

    The price variation on the Camry was much greater since the volume was 40-50 times greater overall.

    What's remarkable to me is that this very basic odd looking vehicle still brings $8000 in tradein/auction. However as I said previously it benefits from being in the Toyota family and the supply being traded in is pretty thin ( there weren't that many sold until 2004 model plus those that have them tend to be keepers ).

    Flip side of that coin with the Camry selling about 400K units annually it equally surprising that it's tradein values continue to be maintained well. My '97 with 185K on it traded for $2300. The transaction curve on tradeins is sharply decending and flattens out after 5 yrs.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Interesting side notes from this data:

    Prius driver, trying to conserve fuel are more careful;
    They drive at more moderate speeds;
    Is the subject data the reason two insurance companies are offering discounts for hybrid drivers?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    Good point. I always wondered why the insurance rates for my $27,000 minivan were lower than those for my $12,000 compact sedan. They were about equal in crash safety ratings. I figured it must be based at least partly on driving behavior.
  • gagricegagrice San DiegoPosts: 28,676
    More interesting side notes on insurance.

    I think what you are saying about hybrid drivers being more conservative could be valid. I doubt that the IIHS has enough data to draw that conclusion. I do know when I told Farmers My GMC was a hybrid they researched and dropped the premium by $245 every 6 months. That means my Passat is $450 more per year than my PU truck.

    A question on the IIHS charts. How can it be that the Honda Civic gets a below average 147 injury score and the identical Civic hybrid an 89? It tells me they have very little data on the hybrids at this time. I would assume because the theft factor is blank on the Prius none have been stolen. I like the fact that my Sierra Hybrid scored a 41 making it safer than any car on the road.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    Maybe that is because your Sierra Hybrid is BIGGER than any car on the road?
  • PFFlyer@EdmundsPFFlyer@Edmunds Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,808

    TOKYO — After nearly two years on sale, Toyota finds it still can't crank out enough versions of its smash hit Prius hybrid to go around. Production at the main plant building in Japan is set to double this summer, up to 120,000 units a year, according to a Japanese newspaper report.


    Moderator - Hatchbacks & Hybrid Vehicles

  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "The 2004 Prius first shipped in fall 2003. The 2000 ECHO first shipped in fall 1999. Are you saying that the original Prius, the ECHO, and the 2004+ Prius all use the same platform? Do you have any substantiation for that? I just find it hard to believe given the differences in the cars."

    I possibly should have mentioned I was speaking of the Gen 1 Prius. I thoght everyone knew that the Gen II was a complete redsign.
  • stevedebistevedebi LAPosts: 3,719
    "The bigger consideration is the supply and that the Prius is Toyota ( Civic a Honda ). Both of these factors favor the hybrids holding value. "

    You'd better hope the supply consideration is not true. When people are trading in their 2004 hybrids, there are apt to be a lot more hybrids available.

    Personally, I think some of the good resale values the hybrids now enjoy is based on the scarcity of the hybrids, combined with the spike in fuel prices last year. However, as more hybrid choices become available, the advantage will be decreased. This effect is doubled if the newer hybrids are cheaper (which should happen as volume increases).
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Agreed. All of what you state is true.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Save Gas - Lose Money

    The endless debate on ownership costs continues.

    Hybrid buyers do not buy hybrids to save money, so who cares!
  • deweydewey Posts: 5,243
    Hybrids will save money. Assuming you dont mind driving an economy car without celebrity status/ - - m">Honda Fit hybrid
    ECONOMY. For one thing, a gas-electric version of the Fit -- or Jazz as it's called in Europe -- would likely deliver big-time on fuel efficiency. The straight gasoline-burning versions of the Fit, which will be introduced in the U.S. in April, offer a 1.5-liter engine, while in other markets, 1.2-liter and 1.3-liter versions are available. The Nikkei reports Honda is planning an even smaller 1-liter engine version for the hybrid, which should deliver fuel economy similar to the Toyota (TM ) Prius: average 55 miles per gallon.

    Perhaps more important, the hybrid version of the Fit won't be a budget buster. The Nikkei reckons it will cost around $11,800 in Japan -- just $1,700 more than a conventional Fit. That makes it considerably cheaper than Honda's new, larger Civic hybrid. That model went on sale in the U.S. last year for $21,000. (see BW Online, 9/15/05, "Civic Minded at Honda")

    BUILD IT SIMPLE. Not only should that guarantee sales, it would also introduce a new class of buyer to hybrids. "For people looking for a compact and reasonable Honda car, the Civic might have become a bit too big and high class, but a hybrid Fit would broaden the popularity of hybrid cars," figures Osamu Kobayashi, chief analyst covering autos at Standard & Poor's.

    How can Honda afford to make a hybrid at a reasonable price? A major reason: its hybrid systems are already less complex than Toyota's and use fewer components. For example, Honda's hybrid system needs about half the batteries and has only one electric motor, compared to Toyota's two. While that means Toyota's hybrid systems have more powerful, analysts say Honda's are cheaper to produce and smaller -- just what's needed for a subcompact.
  • varmintvarmint Posts: 6,326
    Eventually. When production costs come down, and if gas prices go up.

    But I tend to agree with Mopar on this. Hybrid buyers are not seriously interested in saving cash.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Only problem is that the Fit Hybrid is not sold in North America. Even the regular Fit is not yet sold, and even the non-hybrid Fit is expected to retail for $13-16,000.
    Honda hybrids that are available at this time are significantly more expensive than the non-hybrid versions.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    Dumb article.. CNN Money copies the original CR report, but since they referenced CR then they (CNN) dont have to make any corrections. It wasnt their data or testing or conclusions.

    Journalistic excellence.
  • kdhspyderkdhspyder Posts: 7,160
    This has always been the case when a real buyer comes in to buy one. The price is maybe 4th or 5th in importance.

    Lately there may be a new trend (?) emerging. A young professional couple came in with two luxury vehicles. they want to trade one for a Prius. 'Is there a package higher than Pck #8?'
This discussion has been closed.