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Many vehicles have lower energy cost than hybrids

Jeep TJ has lowest lifetime energy cost

Hybrids may use a little less fuel on the road than many of the other new models, but they're really poor performers when you count their lifetime energy costs, and when it comes to which vehicles use the least energy it's wrong to judge a vehicle by its cover.

(Photo: DaimlerChrysler)
So, if using less energy of all kinds is important to you, there are more than 150 better choices than any hybrid available today, starting with the Jeep TJ (soon-to-be Wrangler).

This is the compelling finding of a comprehensive study by CNW Marketing Research of the lifetime energy usage of all the cars sold in the U.S. This study shows that popular hybrids such as the Ford Escape, Honda Accord and Civic, and Toyota Prius are at the back of the pack when you add up the energy necessary to plan, build, sell, drive and dispose of a vehicle from initial concept to scrappage.

Indeed, the study shows that those hybrids can cost society (if not their owners) three times more per mile in energy costs over the lifetime of the vehicle than many cars, trucks and SUVs of all kinds. Hybrid vehicles are even a lot more expensive than the same car with a traditional powertrain.

While the results are crafted from U.S. costs and wouldn't strictly apply in Canada, there's no question that the energy cost relationship between vehicles would be the same here.

(The Scion xB and Ford Escort actually get lower numbers than the Jeep TJ, but Toyota Canada hasn't seen fit to bring the former model to Canada yet and Ford of Canada stopped selling Escort some time back.)

The 20 vehicles with the lowest lifetime energy costs per mile (in U.S. dollars) are:
  1. Jeep TJ (Wrangler): $0.604
  2. Chevrolet Tracker: $0.694
  3. Toyota Echo: $0.703
  4. Saturn Ion: $0.709
  5. Hyundai Elantra: $0.723
  6. Dodge SX2.0: $0.728
  7. Toyota Corolla: $0.732
  8. Chevrolet Cavalier: $0.757
  9. Pontiac Sunfire: $0.758
  10. Chevrolet Aveo: $0.765
  11. Mazda Protegé: $0.772
  12. Chevrolet S10: $0.779
  13. Ford Focus: $0.0803
  14. Hyundai Accent: $0.840
  15. Kia Spectra: $0.864
  16. Mitsubishi Lancer: $0.872
  17. Suzuki Aerio: $0.888
  18. Nissan Sentra: $0.962
  19. Kia Rio: $0.964
  20. Ford Ranger: $0.968