The cost difference between hybrid and conventional vehicles may be narrowing. U.S. News & World Report and other media outlets are forecasting costlier cars for the coming year and blaming more stringent fuel-efficiency standards enacted by the Obama Administration as the cause, warning that fuel-efficient engines will be more expensive to produce, which in turn is passed down to the consumer via costlier cars.
As an example, the sticker price on the Toyota Camry will go up $175 this year while the 2013 Lexus CT 200h will be a not-so-insignificant $3,000 costlier than the previous year's model.
The prediction begs the question: since hybrid vehicles are already fuel efficient and costlier, will this trend simply close the sticker price gap between existing hybrids and their formerly less-efficient counterparts or will we see prices creep up across the board? At the least, the new standards will likely lead to continued, accelerated growth of available hybrid models.