Save Money: hybrids save $13,000 compared to regular cars

A new study based on “cost of ownership” data has been released, citing that hybrid cars trump their non environmentally friendly counterparts in 7 major vehicle categories. The study used all 22 hybrid models currently on the market and found, among other things, that hybrids retain their value better, incur less maintenance and repair costs and naturally have lower costs for fuel.


It seems as though the LA Times missed one important part in the cost of ownership calculation. The batteries need replacement at some point between 5 and 10 years. These batteries, according to the web site “About Hybrid Cars,” the batteries are not cheap. The web site states:
“The service parts price for a new battery is $3000, but we have not had to sell a battery yet.”

Although this is not a show stopper, the LA Times should have made this point. High battery replacement costs will certainly effect the resale value of used hybrids and resale value is one of the factors the Times used in their cost of ownership calculation.

Hey Brooks,

I was actually out shopping around for a hybrid and in both the case of the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic Hybrid they offered a 15 year replacement garuantee on the battery – if it dies they replace it no hassle. Also, the battery issues in the early hybrids are not those of this generation, but unfortunately the myth of the problem hybrid battery persists.

Thanks for the info Kevin. I will be seriously looking at a hybrid. Pity that you only save $10,000 instead of $13,000 though.


If all the hybrids come with 15 year full warranties on the batteries, then the battery issue only becomes a problem after 2020 when the warranties end.

A couple months ago I was reading a auto repair trade magazine on servicing hybrids. The author was advising mechanics to get hybrid training and never to attempt to work on the cars without disconnecting the batteries. He explained that there is sufficient electrical voltage and amperage in a hybrid to kill an uncautious mechanic. He also pointed out the potential for a lot of profit to be had working on hybrids because battery service is labor intensive.

As long as there is a long term warranty covering battery replacement, then such costs will not be the responsiblity of the consumer.

Do you know if GM is offering the same sort of long term battery replacement warranty as Honda and Toyota?

I don’t think replacing the battery will be a big deal. For one, the warranty on them is very long, and secondly, you will probably be able to find a used one at a fraction of the new cost. I have also heard that the whole battery does not need to be replaced either as only the weak or dead cells need to be replaced.

I have read different calculations showing hybrids to cost both more and less money then a regular vehicle. But they are close and the economics of them will only get better.

We should consider that hybrids is not about saving cash. It’s all about the benefits of the environment, using less natural resources, less fuel, etc. And hybrids is far less expensive in terms of its parts such as the dc sport, bumper, etc. Hybrids saves gas, but not sure whether they can save money.

Hi, this is a debatable issue. We haven’t had a complete taste of hybrid cars yet as they are uncommon. Many dodge dealers and other car dealers are working on newer techniques to save fuel. Lets see how things shape up in a couple of years and then only we can compare hybrid with stock versions.

I had assumed that the aggregate downside of the battery maintenance, etc, would have pushed hybrids over the edge and made them costlier over the long term. I suppose the government incentives are just enough to overcome that. One area where those in charge seem to have come together with the right level of regulation…surprise :)