Publication Detail

A Retail and Lifecycle Cost Analysis of Hybrid Electric Vehicles



Hydrogen Pathways Program

Suggested Citation:
Lipman, Timothy E. and Mark A. Delucchi (2006) A Retail and Lifecycle Cost Analysis of Hybrid Electric Vehicles. Transportation Research Part D 11 (2), 115 - 132

This paper analyzes the manufacturing costs, retail prices, and lifecycle costs of five hybrid gasoline-electric vehicle types in high-volume production. Updating and major modifications are made to a detailed motor vehicle retail and lifecycle cost spreadsheet model that had previously been used to analyze the costs of conventional vehicles, electric-drive vehicles, and other alternative-fuel vehicles. This cost model is combined with a hybrid vehicle design and performance analysis using the ADVISOR vehicle simulation model. Five hybrid vehicle designs were examined for each vehicle type, for a total of 25 hybrid vehicle cases and a set of five baseline gasoline vehicles for comparison. It is found under various assumptions that combining the advanced package of vehicle improvements with mild vehicle hybridization provides the least-cost the hybrid vehicle option, with lifecycle costs very close to those of the baseline vehicles even using the relatively low historical gasoline price of $1.46 per gallon. However, with recent higher gasoline prices then many of the more fuel efficient, but costlier, hybrid vehicle designs become competitive from a lifecycle cost perspective.