Everybody seems to be on the hybrid (power) train at the moment. They are considered to be a sensible, greener option to traditional pure fossil fuel fleets, and they are slowly becoming popular in New Zealand. The latest New Zealand Transport statistics show that more new and used hybrids are being registered every year, though there are still just over 15,000 represented nationwide.
One of the main reasons that a fleet manager might consider a hybrid is to reduce the damage on their fuel card balance. But just how much could you save by investing in a hybrid?
Looking at fuel economy
With two motors, one electric and semi-powered by the other, you would expect that there would be significant savings in fuel. However, the reality is that you might be spending more on the initial buy than you eventually save.
Let us illustrate: Toyota is one of the (if not the most) popular brands in New Zealand. The manufacturer has a number of hybrids, the cheapest of which is the Yaris Hatch at just over $21,000. If you compare the Yaris to the ever-popular Corolla, Energywise gives us an estimate of about $1,600 a year for running costs for the Yaris. Not bad at all. But the Corolla falls behind only by a little, costing $1,880.
— Toyota New Zealand (@ToyotaNZ) March 17, 2016
And the buy in costs? The Corolla is only $9,000 more, meaning you'd need to have the Yaris for 32 years to pay off the difference. And that doesn't include maintenance!
Speaking of which…
What about maintenance?
Just like every other car, it depends on what kind of hybrid you choose!
The other major cost of running a fleet is the regular maintenance. Hybrids again can also present a bit of a problem when it comes to issues: due to their more complex engine systems, some garages might not have the ability to actually fix your problems.
While it's certainly possible to do basic maintenance yourself, you will eventually have to bust out the fuel card to pay for some maintenance – and you might find that specialists charge a premium due to the additional knowledge required to fix a hybrid.
However, it is all about your choices. The Prius C will set you back about the same as a Corolla, but running costs are about $800 less. That is pure saving, though as we said, maintenance might come at an additional cost.
So, how much do hybrids really save you? Just like every other car, it depends on what kind of hybrid you choose! You can reduce the damage on your bottom line with a fuel card from us at Card Smart – you can contact us here!