Even though gas prices have started to fall, drivers aren’t rushing back to the pump, AAA reports. The national average for a gallon of gas was $4.05 on Aug. 8, down from $4.72 at the same time in July, but still significantly higher than the national average of $3.19 a year ago. According to the agency, drivers adjusted their behavior to reduce fuel consumption by driving less and combining tasks. But if cramming a week’s worth of errands into a single trip isn’t a viable option, a hybrid or all-electric vehicle can help reduce (or eliminate) gas station visits.
Connected: What are the most fuel efficient cars for 2022?
Buying a fuel-efficient new car may be easier said than done due to the ongoing shortage of inventory, however, and buyers are facing a double-edged sword: Not only that it’s more expensive to fill up their vehicles, but scarce inventory and rising prices also make buying a new car more challenging.
According to JD Power’s latest sales report, 55% of vehicles are sold within 10 days of arriving at a dealership, and the average car spends 19 days on a dealer’s lot – down from 29 days a year ago. New vehicles are selling briskly even as prices remain high: The average estimated new vehicle transaction price was $45,869 in July — up 12% from the same time a year ago.
Below are the most available new all-electric and hybrid/PHEV vehicles ranked by total inventory among Cars.com dealers along with the average number of days each model has spent on dealer lots and its average price since August 4.
The most available EVs
- Chevrolet Bolt EUV: 1,829 (inventory); 199 (day in the merchant’s lot); $37,072 (average price)
- Chevrolet Bolt EV: 938; 139; $33,435
- Ford Mustang Mach-E: 874; 38; 59610 dollars
- Ford F-150 Lightning: 676; 39; $81,404
- Volkswagen ID.4: 603; 42; $49,261
- Mercedes-EQ EQS: 463; 49; $120,334
- Hyundai Ioniq 5: 419; 28; $52,180
- Let EV6: 396; 21; 55698 dollars
- BMW i4 Gran Coupe: 339; 37; 63660 dollars
- BMW iX: 315; 50; $95,570
The redesigned Chevy Bolt EV and all-new Bolt EUV take the top spots for most available EVs among Cars.com dealers. The pair also top the list of the cheapest EVs of 2022, and the 2023 models see a further price cut of nearly $6,000. In addition to availability and affordability, the Bolt EV and EUV are also among the most efficient all-electric cars.
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 and corresponding Kia EV6 topped the availability rankings earlier in 2022, but have dropped to 6th and 7th, respectively. The new all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning and its stablemate Mustang Mach-E come out ahead of South Korean manufacturers in the availability of electric vehicles, and the fact that Detroit-based automakers GM and Ford produced the four most available. with a larger trend indicating that American-made vehicles are more available.
A notable exception to the above list is Tesla. Because the automaker sells vehicles directly to consumers, new Tesla models are not included in Cars.com’s dealer inventory. Used Teslas may be easier to find than their new counterparts: As of July, used examples of the 2020-22 model year Tesla Model 3, S, X and Y accounted for 14,036 vehicles among inventory of Cars.com dealers.
Most available hybrids and PHEVs
- Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe: 2,760 (inventory); 29 (day in the merchant’s lot); $63,365 (average price)
- Toyota RAV4 Hybrid: 2,583; 22; $37,729
- Honda Accord Hybrid: 1,057; 25; $35,367
- Honda CR-V Hybrid: 923; 51; $36,240
- Toyota Sienna: 714; 35; 46200 dollars
- Toyota Camry Hybrid: 633; 22; $34,304
- Hyundai Elantra Hybrid: 597; 9; $30,080
- Hyundai Tucson Hybrid: 535; 18; $35,506
- Kia Sportage Hybrid: 490; 10; $33,801
- Lexus RX 450h: 443; 35; $61,050
Unlike an all-electric car, a hybrid won’t let you ditch the gas station entirely, but it can help you fill up less often. For example, the Hyundai Elantra Hybrid gets up to an EPA-estimated 54 mpg combined; the gas-only model gets up to 37 mpg.
The most available hybrid on the list, the Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4xe plug-in, gets an EPA-estimated combined equivalent of 49 mpg — a significant advantage over the gas-powered Wrangler Unlimited’s 22 mpg max or the gas-powered model’s 25 mpg max. diesel. The 4xe’s higher mpg rating also comes with a higher upfront cost: After a significant price increase in 2021, the Wrangler Unlimited 4xe now starts at $56,190 (all prices include destination charge), while the standard Wrangler Unlimited starts from $35,640.
Compared to the Wrangler 4xe, the Toyota RAV4 Hybrid carries a more modest premium over its gas-only variant, with a starting price of $30,910 compared to $28,310 for the standard model. In this case, the tipping point for fuel economy may come sooner with an EPA-estimated 40 mpg combined for the hybrid versus a maximum of 30 mpg combined for the gas-only model.
Electrified cars are a drop in the bucket
To determine which fuel-efficient electric and hybrid vehicles buyers are most likely to find, we looked at recent inventory levels among Cars.com dealers. Electrified vehicles (including hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric models) make up approximately 4% of the total new vehicle inventory, while gas and diesel options make up the remaining 96%.
Interest in all-electric cars has surged as a result of inflated fuel costs — Automotive News reports that EV registrations are up 60% in the first quarter of 2022. But available options are limited: Cars.com data shows that pure electric vehicles make up just 1.5% of all new inventory among dealers, while hybrids and PHEVs make up nearly 3%.
Is the fuel savings worth it?
Availability of a vehicle is only part of the equation when looking for a fuel efficient vehicle. While hybrid ownership won’t seem much different from owning a gas-only vehicle, making the jump to all-electric comes with considerations — and additional costs. These include the vehicle’s maximum range, the costs of installing a home charger and the highest average transaction prices. Most range-topping electric vehicles are from luxury brands with premium price tags, and installing a Level 2 home charger can add thousands of dollars to the total cost of ownership.
Buying electric can help some qualified buyers save money during inventory shortages thanks to federal tax credits offered for some EVs and PHEVs. The full $7,500 credit can also offset the higher average prices seen for electric cars.
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