The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Fleet Managers Evaluate Hybrid Vehicles With a New Cost Calculator Tool

August 09, 2005

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A new software tool for government and business fleet managers — available for free at or — compares the costs and emissions of hybrid-electric vehicles (HEVs) to conventional vehicles. The Hybrid-Electric Vehicle Fleet Cost and Benefits Calculator tool was developed by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the Center for a New American Dream, and the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy with funding from DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Clean Cities activity. Fleet cost esti-mates were developed in consultation with PHH Arval. While the retail price of HEVs can exceed that of their conventional counterparts by several thousand dollars, they can save money when the total cost of vehicle ownership is considered. Federal and state tax incentives can help offset the financial impact for taxable entities, and higher resale values, strong warranties, and lower fuel costs can reduce cost of ownership. The calculator tool helps fleet purchasers assess potential savings from purchasing HEVs by taking into account purchase price, fuel costs, repair and maintenance costs, resale value, and applicable tax incentives. For example, the tool indicates that at the current average fuel price of $2.20 per gallon, hybrids are often the most cost-effective vehicle choice. If fuel prices rise to $2.50 to $3 per gallon, advanced hybrid vehicles will become even more financially beneficial. Other factors, such as the percentage of city driving and the total number of miles driven per year can also increase the cost-effectiveness of hybrid vehicles.
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