Lower Fuel Prices Mean More Savings On Green Vehicle Purchases
Just like when high fuel prices knocked down the sale price of many a truck and SUV, the current drop in price at the pump is pulling down the prices for many a hybrid, PHEV and EV.
Per TrueCar, the No. 1 green vehicle in January to leave more money in its buyer’s wallet is the Ford Focus Electric, which is leaving the lot with 16 percent off of its $29,995 MSRP. The market average for the EV comes out to $25,168.
Taking silver and bronze on the podium are the Ram 1500 Tradesman 4×2 with regular cab and standard bed, and the Toyota Venza XLE, coming with an average of around 11 percent savings off MSRP. Both vehicles are the only ones in the top five that aren’t green vehicles, though the 1500 can be had in EcoDiesel and EcoDiesel HFE trims.
Rounding out the quintet are the Kia Optima Hybrid and Toyota Prius Two, both saving their fans around 10 percent off MSRP for a total of $29,411 and $22,498, respectively.
President John Krafcik said that with automakers “heavily discounting their most fuel-efficient cars to clear inventories,” as well as the majority of consumers becoming more focused on the fuel pump over fuel economy, now is the time to buy a hybrid or EV. He added that “when the pendulum swings the other way,” such vehicles would become more attractive, with pricing to match.
"...when the pendulum swings the other way..." This could take 10 years or more--more than the life of the econobox you're suffering with. All future expectations about the price of oil are baked into the current price. That's how commodities markets work. If the price of oil were certain to rise in the future, the price would be higher now.
The first car mentioned, the Focus plug in, is eligible for a Federal Tax Credit of $7,500. Washington has no sales tax on plug ins and Illinois has a $2,000 cash incentive. To get the full $7,500 credit, you have to pay that much in Federal Tax, and not be in AMT brackets. Based on this: "The market average for the EV comes out to $25,168." Someone able to get full credits for this would have a net cost of $16,000-$17,000. It is, in many ways, a truly uninspiring car. Yet for someone with a short commute and a second ICE, why not? If you do the Tesla math on cost of ownership, this is more or less free. The only way to easily find the numbers is the Tesla site. Anyone owning one of these isn't going to be racking up lots of miles. At 20 miles per day, that would be 7,000 miles per year. I don't know what a 2 year old, low milage model would sell for, but it wouldn't be for much less than the net purchase price.
My girlfriend has been looking at the Fit and Prius, and we haven't noticed any drops in pricing yet...
I guess the SUV to the left of the Optima is the current Sorrento - I always notice those in traffic because they look so incredibly odd and outdated. It's like they found a design from an 08 concept which was penned in 04, and put it on sale.