Home » The Average Hybrid Is $14,884 Cheaper Than The Average Electric Car

The Average Hybrid Is $14,884 Cheaper Than The Average Electric Car

Tmd Prius Model Y
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It’s Thursday and I’m tempted to lead with another story about Tesla reportedly walking away from its gigacasting plans. Am I tired of Tesla TMDs? A little, so instead lemme reiterate that hybrids continue to be way more affordable than electric cars and this is driving the market.

Is that reflected in the numbers? It is if you’re Toyota, which saw another strong April in spite of having one fewer selling day. And then I’ll talk about Tesla’s gigacasting thing, because it speaks to larger plans by the automaker that seem sort of mystifying.

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

Finally, I’ll end by talking about the Ford Maverick. We all love the Maverick. You know who also loves the Maverick? Ford. Ford loves the Maverick so much that it’s constantly bringing the Maverick back to dealerships. Some would call this “an annoying and disappointing preponderance of recalls” but some… might call it love.

Hybrids Are Popular Because Hybrids Make Sense And Are Cheap

2024 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition

Ok, so the Year of the Hybrid has happened, and I don’t see any reason why it shouldn’t continue to be so for the last seven months of the year.

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But why?

I think there are three key reasons:

  • Consumer Preference: I think anti-environmentalism will continue to wane as people see the very real consequences of climate change. This doesn’t mean consumers will all buy EVs immediately as hybrids offer a reasonable transition for people who are unsure about electric cars/charging.
  • Choice: More automakers are offering more hybrids on more models. The number of hybrid models is growing every year, giving buyers more choice. And then there are places where there is no choice. For instance, the 2025 Toyota Camry is only available as a hybrid, joining the Sienna in that category.
  • Affordability: Hybrids use less fuel, which immediately makes them more affordable to operate than their gas-powered counterparts. They’re also way, way cheaper than electric cars.

Let’s dive into that last bit, courtesy of this Barrons article.

According to Cars.com, hybrids and plug-in hybrid vehicles, or PHEVs, average $48,918, while the average price for an all-battery electric vehicle is $63,802. That’s a difference of $14,884. The lack of affordability continues to weigh heavily on EV sales growth.

And weigh it has. Sales of battery electric vehicles, or BEVs, grew just 7% year over year in the first quarter of 2024, according to data provider WardsAuto, down from 43% year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2023. Sales of hybrids—both traditional and plug-in—grew about 65% year over year.

It’s basically $15k cheaper to get a hybrid than a BEV, though it depends a lot on what you’re looking to buy. This is especially true as incentives for EVs are extremely high right now, with Toyota giving few discounts on RAV4 Hybrids but plenty of deals on the bZ4x EV.

The best deals right now in the market seem to be on electric car leases as automakers are discounting cars plus taking advantage of the $7,500 tax credit. If you can make an EV work in your life and want something new, an EV lease is likely the most affordable option.

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Seriously, here’s a lease deal on a bZ4X for $1,999 down and $160 a month. That specific deal is expired, but I’ve been seeing tons of similar deals pop up on Twitter.

Toyota Has Another Banger Month

2024 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid Woodland Edition profile

Toyota, a seller of many hybrids is, unsurprisingly, having a great month. According to Automotive News, Toyota saw a 13.7% lift in sales in April of 2024 compared to April 2023, putting it at about 18.5% year-over-year thus far.

Those are good numbers and far out-pacing the expected -2% decline for the market as a whole. How’s the company doing it? From AN:

Toyota Motor Corp., behind another surge in hybrid deliveries, posted a double-digit increase in U.S. sales in April for the sixth straight month while Honda Motor Co. volume edged up 0.4 percent — with both automakers benefiting from rising inventories.

Volume rose 14 percent to 211,818, with electrified vehicle sales jumping 56 percent to 77,228, Toyota Motor said Wednesday. Sales increased 15 percent at the Toyota division and 4.8 percent at Lexus.

Curiously, the Prius was down 33% year-over-year, but RAV4 and Corolla sales more than made up for it. Camry and Tacoma sales were both down, but those cars are being swapped out for entirely new models so that’s not a big surprise.

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Honda is a bit of a question mark. The automaker posted a slight increase for the month, but “electrified vehicles” sales were down. For Honda, this means mostly hybrids as the Prologue is only just available to be ordered. Hybrid sales are up for the year, but there was a slip, primarily in Accord sales. Is this a supply issue? I’ve reached out to Honda to explain.

UPDATE: Here’s the skinny straight from Honda:

Accord sales were down overall in April, but it was expected and not an indicator of supply chain issues or demand waning. We have begun retooling our production facilities in Ohio to establish our new EV Hub. As part of that, the Marysville Auto Plant (MAP), where all U.S. market Accords are currently built, recently consolidated its two production lines to one as we prepare for the start of EV production in late 2025.
In the coming months, we plan to increase production of the Accord hybrid, so we expect availability to improve and for sales of the Accord hybrid and CR-V hybrid to continue to represent about half of the sales mix for each model. Its important to note, that Accord hybrid mix of sales remained above 50% in April, indicating demand remains strong for our electrified models.
Furthermore, we will be launching a Civic hybrid in the coming months, so we remain committed to production and sales of hybrid-electric models
That all makes sense.

Reuters: Tesla Walking Back Gigacasting Plans

Gigacasting Machine
Photo: IDRA

I’ve already covered how Tesla made gigacasting the most important word in the car industry, but just because everyone is excited about it doesn’t mean that Tesla can’t change its mind about the technology. As we’re learning, Tesla loves changing its mind.

It’s how we end up with this Reuters headline: “Exclusive: Tesla retreats from next-generation ‘gigacasting’ manufacturing process

So what’s happening, exactly?

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Last year, as Tesla developed a new small-vehicle platform, it aimed to punch out the underbody in a single piece, Reuters exclusively reported last September, citing five sources familiar with the automaker’s gigacasting operations. The long-term goal was to radically simplify manufacturing and slash costs.

But Tesla has since halted the effort, opting to stick with its more proven method of casting vehicle underbodies in three pieces: two gigacasted front and rear sections and a midsection made of aluminum and steel frames to store batteries, according to the two sources familiar with the matter. That is largely the same three-piece method the company has used for its last two new models, the Model Y crossover SUV and the Cybertruck pickup.

Why this is happening is somewhat a matter of speculation, but this is consistent with Tesla deciding not to do a $25,000 high-volume, low-cost EV and instead focus on AI/robotaxi development. Making the underbody with one big cast could potentially save a ton of money, but the cost of creating that kind of setup is huge and Tesla is trying to save money.

Gigasting is hard! It also probably doesn’t help that GM bought one of Tesla’s gigacasting suppliers.

Besides, if the underlying tech makes the new entry-level car so much more valuable, the theory might go, it’s worth paying a little extra for it and thus trying to remove cost isn’t as big of a deal. I think this is a wrong-headed approach, but that seems to be the plan.

WTF Ford Maverick?

MaverickWe are Ford Maverick stans around here and, if I could go back in time, I’d have ordered a Maverick XLT on Day 1 when they were still super cheap and gotten it just in time to trade in my Subaru for way over its usual value due to the supply crunch. I didn’t do that, but I still want a normally-priced Maverick.

I’d have probably been a little peeved at this point, however, that the truck might have been recalled seven times already. Ford is in the process of fixing its quality issues, but that does little good for Maverick owners, who have seen more recalls than Guy Pearce in Memento.

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So far the recalls have ranged from serious (fire risk due to engine failure) to piddlier (inoperative trailer taillights). If I’m counting correctly, more than half of the recalls are related to taillights, turn signals, or instrument panels.

Here’s the latest one, via NHTSA:

The Body Control Module (BCM) may falsely detect a current overload on one
or both of the rear position lamp circuits, resulting in one or both of the lamps
to be deactivated during a drive cycle. This issue does not affect headlights,
stop lamps (including Center High Mount Stop Lamp), or turn signal functions.

Losing taillights is not good! There’s an easy software fix to this and owners will be notified, possibly while they’re in line to get another recall fixed.

What I’m Listening To While Writing TMD

A two-fer? Sure. Mechjaz was happy to see Gorillaz in yesterday’s TMD and mentioned that the album “Demon Days” is an all-timer. It is! How does one even pick a song on this album? “Feel Good Inc” is the obvious one, as is “Dirty Harry” but I’m a sucker for MF Doom in “November Has Come.”

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She wore a filled-in thongA billabongAnd said, nah, fo’reallaThe Villain on a Gorilla jawn?

So good.

The Big Question

Why did Honda hybrid sales drop in April? Honda should get back to me, but I’d love to hear a theory. I’ll update the post when they all wake up and tell me.

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Greg
Greg
19 days ago

Anti-environmentalist is a stretch when 100 companies create 70% of all pollution. When those assholes are held accountable and Taylor and Elon stop jumping on private jets everywhere, then I’ll give a fuck. Until then its just a way to make money for people by forcing new products and journalists like you giving them a pass while calling out their readers is a dick move.

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
18 days ago
Reply to  Greg

You and I may only make a small difference, but it’s still a difference and we should do our part

Greg
Greg
18 days ago
Reply to  Dinklesmith

I don’t agree. Until big companies do something, anything I do is instantly removed by a ship just turning on. Or a plane going down the runway. It’s just politicians trying to get points and funnel cash to the project their donors told them needs lots of green energy money. None of it goes to Nuclear, which is literally the only way to green our country.

That said, I use electric yard tools and have a solar array to power my house. So I do plenty.

Last edited 18 days ago by Greg
Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
18 days ago
Reply to  Greg

I’m glad to hear that. An EV would be perfect for you then since you have solar. We can do our part while also pressuring the companies to make changes. We can change what we can change and that includes voting against politicians who think climate change is a scam

Greg
Greg
18 days ago
Reply to  Dinklesmith

I get your point, I really do. I just don’t agree with it. The problem with voting against the bad guy is that every single politician runs on some platform then completely gives in to the uni-party(read:donor class) as soon as they make it big.

Look at fucking Bernie, the hero of the working class who owns multiple mansions. It’s all a sick joke and I refuse to fall for it anymore.

So you drink your paper straw that has cancer in it, and I’ll keep using plastic bags and living a life without unneeded annoyances.

Paper straws toxic chemicals make them worse than …
USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com › news › nation › 2023/08/28

Last edited 18 days ago by Greg
Thevenin
Thevenin
18 days ago
Reply to  Greg

100 companies cause 70% of all emissions… but only if you consider a fossil fuel company responsible for the end-user burning their product.

To be clear, I do — but only because those companies have made it so difficult to survive without consumption.

Cerberus
Cerberus
19 days ago

The Prius thing is weird. I wonder if it’s supply constraints. Anecdotally, I’m seeing a lot of them and none are sitting on lots that I’ve seen (I always scan for the three GRs and the Prius when I drive by a Toyota dealer). Maybe people are hitting up the Corolla hybrid as it’s so much cheaper and has been pretty available judging by how often they’re handed out as loaners (that thing really is a bargain—terrible to drive, if not quite torture—but the list price, incredible mileage on cheap gas, the likelihood of typical Corolla reliability, and being an appliance not to worry about makes it almost something I would consider).

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
19 days ago

If Toyota didn’t suck, I’d have a 2nd hybrid in my driveway right now. Build more to meet demand!!

And hopefully my other one keeps trucking, because regular cars are too expensive now.

Tom T
Tom T
19 days ago

Reuters is notoriously anti Tesla and their headline, which you jumped on like a fat kid on candy, is typically misleading. And trying to mask your very willing propagation of fake news with the “Reuters:” disclaimer is pretty weak. Tesla never committed to one piece casting, they said it was a possibility they are looking at but may not be cost effective or beneficial to production process, which turns out to be the case. They are not walking back from anything. It’s a complete non article and non issue and non story. You simply can’t help yourself. Kinda sad.

Pit-Smoked Clutch
Pit-Smoked Clutch
19 days ago
Reply to  Tom T

REUTERS is slanted? What’s next, the sales numbers are fake news because math hates Tesla?

Loudog
Loudog
18 days ago

This is handy: https://www.allsides.com/media-bias/media-bias-chart Reuters does fairly well.

Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
Bongo Friendee Harvey Park
19 days ago
Reply to  Tom T

Is this Elon or Kimbal?

Matthew Hogan
Matthew Hogan
18 days ago
Reply to  Tom T

I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
19 days ago

36 month lease at $160 a month plus $2,000 is a new hybrid for 3 years for less than $8,000. That is one cheap rental vehicle. Need more specific information because everyone should do this unless fine print.
Yes Hybrids average almost $15,000 less than an EV. BUT MY 3 bedroom house on the Susquehanna cost $8,000 less than a hybrid. Think about it I could by a house and lease a Toyota Hybrid for 3 years for the same price as a Hybrid. Now I could point out sometimes cutting costs is better than government regulated price increases but this site doesn’t have many economic majors or minors.

Vic Vinegar
Vic Vinegar
19 days ago
Reply to  Mr Sarcastic

I believe the $160 a month might have been limited to some states where there was a credit on top of the federal. Otherwise Toyota was putting a fat subsidy on top of the $7500 tax credit and I think it was a 0 money factor. It is just a typical “no one is buying these” lease blowouts.

Used to see them pre-COVID for cars like the Chevy Equinox and Buicks. $6k buys you 3 years and 36,000 miles of car.

It's a minivan
It's a minivan
19 days ago

I don’t get the focus on “hybrid” cars. Who cares if they’re hybrid or not so long as they get good fuel economy and are low emissions? Should everything be hybrid? It doesn’t matter so long as the outcome is the same.

Now if we talking PHEVs, sure, but I’m pretty sure we’re talking about straight hybrids here.

And if we’re talking about hybrid vs electric, we’re really talking efficient combustion vs electric, and again, who cares if it’s hybrid so long as it’s efficient?

Bite Me
Bite Me
18 days ago
Reply to  It's a minivan

I think hybrids are the easiest way to get an efficient car past US emissions regulations. I agree, I think small ICE cars with high mileage should be a focus as well but those barely exist in the US anymore.

Ben
Ben
19 days ago

Seriously, here’s a lease deal on a bZ4X for $1,999 down and $160 a month. That specific deal is expired, but I’ve been seeing tons of similar deals pop up on Twitter.

Yeah, but then you’re stuck with a Bees Forks for the next three years.

Guy Pearce in Momento.

AKA Memento, which is a great movie that holds up to this day. Not a multi-tasking movie though. You need to be paying attention the whole time or you’ll be very confused.

Uberscrub
Uberscrub
19 days ago

I suddenly find myself needing to replace my Fit. My “perfect” car would be PHEV hatchback and reasonably fun to drive. And cheap. I test drove a BMW I3 – nope. not for me, even at less than $10k. Now I am strongly considering a used Bolt. They aren’t “fun”, but felt way better than the I3. I would prefer a PHEV, but the ones that small (old e-golf, A3 E-Tron) are just as expensive and have only 10-15 miles of range.

I considered a Prius, but they aren’t hatch-y enough, and the prius-v is an abomination.

Attila the Hatchback
Attila the Hatchback
19 days ago
Reply to  Uberscrub

A Bolt with sportier tires is pretty quick and handles OK. The range suffers a bit, but you should get well over 200miles (without the heater!) with the replaced battery.

The eGolf was a pure EV — I don’t think there were any ‘fun to drive’ VW hybrids ever in the US, at least.

Dinklesmith
Dinklesmith
18 days ago
Reply to  Uberscrub

I own a Bolt so feel free to ask any questions. They’re amazing cars and the old ones with replaced batteries are screaming deals. Fast charging was an option on the old ones though so if you need to take it long distances at all, make sure it comes equipped.

Also, it charges slow, you’ll be at a charger for about 45 minutes a pop on road trips….it’s not a road trip vehicle so take that for what it’s worth. I have a Volt for when I want to go long distances.

My only other gripe is the seats are uncomfortable but I fixed that by buying quality seat covers and putting an inch of upholstery foam on the seat back and now they feel great

Xuanlur
Xuanlur
19 days ago

Wow, this Xuanlur Kids Ride on Truck sounds like an absolute blast! As a parent, I’m always on the lookout for toys that provide both fun and safety for my little one, and this new model seems to tick all the boxes. The fact that it comes with a remote control for parents adds an extra layer of reassurance, especially for those moments when my child wants to explore their independence but still needs a guiding hand.

The sleek black design is definitely a plus, giving it a modern and stylish look that kids will love. Plus, with a 12V battery, I can trust that it’ll have enough power to keep my little adventurer cruising around for hours on end.

I can already imagine the excitement on my child’s face as they zip around the neighborhood in their very own truck, and knowing that I can easily intervene with the remote control if needed gives me peace of mind. Overall, this seems like a fantastic investment in both fun and safety for kids, and I can’t wait to see the joy it brings to our family outings!

If you’re interested in checking it out, you can find more information on the Xuanlur website here: Xuanlur Kids Ride on Truck with Parents Remote Control

Knowonelse
Knowonelse
19 days ago

I have a 2020 Prius AWD, and my SO just bought a 2024 Rav4 plug-in hybid. I feel guilty about using the Prius for local trips when we have an EV for local ventures in the Rav4.

Cerberus
Cerberus
19 days ago
Reply to  Knowonelse

I feel that, but try not to sweat it—every billionaire’s tiny wang rocket launch is equivalent to the annual emissions of millions of cars. We’re feeling guilty about accidentally stepping on ants in the driveway while they conduct chemical trench warfare and laugh with their arms around their plastic gold diggers.

James Carson
James Carson
19 days ago
Reply to  Cerberus

Not to leave out the helicopter, private jet, massive yacht, multiple houses, etc, etc, etc. All polluting and conspicuously consuming.

Greg
Greg
19 days ago
Reply to  James Carson

no its the little guy causing all the problems! Sacrifice everything so they can continue to live like kings…if not you’re “anti-enviorment” according to this author.

Thevenin
Thevenin
18 days ago
Reply to  Cerberus

Bear with me for a moment:

The average rocket launch is 200-300 tons pf CO2, which is approximately the annual GHG emissions of 31-46 cars, not a million. The 1%’s mansions and jets made 16% of global emissions, not the majority.

But I don’t care about the reputation of the 1%. Eat the rich. Reward them for the dystopia they made. What I do care about is that fossil fuel PR is pivoting to spreading fatalism online. Instead of trying to convince people that climate change isn’t real, they’re now trying to convince people that it’s too late or beyond their control.

The fossil fuel lobby wants normal people to give up and stop trying, and saying there’s nothing you can do as long as billionaires exist plays right into their hands.

Collective action and solidarity of the working class can and does improve material outcomes.

/rant

Last edited 18 days ago by Thevenin
Cerberus
Cerberus
18 days ago
Reply to  Thevenin

Fine rant by me! I’m not advocating people don’t do their part, just to not feel guilty when they do what they can with their limited power. Like, they’re feeling guilty about using one of the most environmentally friendly vehicles in place of a full BEV. I’m saying that they have a right to live and take small conveniences without feeling guilty about it and it seems like they’re doing what they can without dropping out of society or going out assassinating billionaires (damn their security teams!). It’s like feeling guilty about running heat in your house with your thermostat set to 50 degrees while rich sociopaths are burning the planet and limiting our options even when we want to help (eg, EVs should be made to last, not be disposable, but that’s what we’re getting or think of all the municipal “recycling” programs that just deliver separated trash to the same landfill/incinerator, though I still separate recycling in the .01% chance some of my recycling actually gets recycled). Part of the reason I wrote that is because I feel a bit of that myself for having a sports car, even though it gets over 30 mpg. I haven’t flown in 25 years, I don’t have kids, I keep the thermostat as low as I can stand it, I don’t buy stuff I don’t need, fix when I can, build when I can, and I eat little meat with pretty much no red meat at all (that’s for the sake of the sloths more than anything else as a lot of Amazon deforestation is going to cattle production. We can die off, IDC, as long as the Xanarthrans survive), yet I still feel like a dick if I have an annual cheesesteak even though I recognize the ridiculousness of feeling that way. Short of it is: those who should feel guilty do not.

Manwich Sandwich
Manwich Sandwich
19 days ago

Regarding hybrids… there is another reason why hybrids can make a lot of sense for legacy OEMs… they enable the legacy OEM to get more life out of existing ICE platforms.

Regarding The Big Question… I bet the issue of Honda’s hybrid sales dropping probably has to do with a lack of supply.

GreatFallsGreen
GreatFallsGreen
19 days ago

Honda had a pretty hearty sales increase overall in April of last year. IIRC this was around the time Honda added the LX trim back to the CR-V mid-model year – their news site shows two specs and features entries for MY23, an October version without the LX, and then a revised one in mid-May that added the LX back. I don’t think that’s affecting hybrid sales directly, but could certainly see base models making up a greater share of the mix there, especially now that it’s a year-plus on the market so not as shiny and new.

Maybe similar if on the basis of cost: Accord sales were down, but Civic saw a big increase, perhaps a runout before the facelifted one goes on sale (which adds a hybrid too). More than a couple reviews say the Civic is so good as to make the Accord almost redundant unless you really need the space, people could be opting for a Civic rather than an Accord too. Most people needing space are going crossover now, so the couple extra things an Accord has over a comparable trim Civic may not be worth the $3-4k premium.

Mike B
Mike B
19 days ago

IF I were buying a new car, I would probably prefer it be a hybrid. However, I do not have the budget to spend 30,40k on a transportation module.

None of the vehicles I’d actually be interested in owning have a hybrid drivetrain yet.

Even if I did, in the current economy I would not feel comfortable spending that much money on anything. I was actually thinking of maybe buying something in 2024, but my rent going up $400/month cured me of that.

I’m more likely to buy an old Yukon or something cash and put some of the money I’ve saved in the fuel tank every week.

CampoDF
CampoDF
19 days ago

It’s funny that the USA (specifically manufacturer offerings) is just now coming around to the PHEV craze. Manufacturers here tried to leapfrog from ICE to EV without the PHEV step that seems to have been very popular in Europe for a while. Now that it is self-evident that people can’t afford new EVs, the PHEVs are stepping in – all the while they should have been here ten years ago.

Kalieaire
Kalieaire
19 days ago
Reply to  CampoDF

Sales of the Chevy Volt began in 2011.

I think the main issue was that they weren’t popular with all the other options were out there. It wasn’t until gas prices went up really high the past few years that people were complaining.

There was a big lull in gas prices between 2014 and 2021.

Last edited 19 days ago by Kalieaire
Greg
Greg
19 days ago
Reply to  CampoDF

yes yes, you EU folks are always so superior to the USA. Clap yourself on the back for me, you’ve earned it!

CampoDF
CampoDF
14 days ago
Reply to  Greg

Ok – well, I’m an American pointing out what has been available elsewhere…

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