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PHOTO CAPTION: Most cost-effective hybrid in BCAA analysis is Lexus CT200h hybrid.

Cost Analysis Finds Quartet of Hybrids Are Money Savers

BCAA study of 23 hybrid models finds that under current economic and policy milieu in Canada, most models cost more over five-year operational life than non-hybrid counterparts.

Published: 26-Jun-2011

(Burnaby, B.C.): Since their introduction to the North American market a dozen years ago, gas-electric hybrid vehicles have saved thousands of tonnes of CO2 and other emissions from entering the atmosphere. But they have yet to save their owners much money – if any at all.

According to the annual Hybrid Vehicle Cost and Savings Analysis released today by the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA), only four of the 23 hybrids on the market today would produce cost savings when compared to their closest conventional counterparts – even with gas prices at near record highs. The story changes, however, for hybrid owners who drive more than the average, or if the $2,000 provincial sales tax rebate – eliminated with the introduction of the HST – was still available to hybrid purchasers. When BCAA adjusted annual kilometres driven in the analysis from 20,000 to 40,000, 13 of the 23 hybrid models became less expensive to own and operate over the five-year timeframe. Similarly, when the sales tax rebate was hypothetically re-introduced to analysis, 10 of the 23 hybrids became more affordable.

"Hybrids can make a significant difference to the environment," says BCAA President and CEO Tim Condon, noting that hybrids produce up to 48% fewer greenhouse gas emissions than their gas-only equivalents. "But potential purchasers should choose carefully to make sure the hybrid they choose meets their needs and objectives. All hybrids offer better fuel economy, but there is still a price premium to be paid for most models. The good news is there are more hybrids to select from than ever before."

Highlights of BCAA’s 2011 Hybrid Vehicle Cost and Savings Analysis:

The four vehicles that beat their closest gas-only equivalents in five-year purchase, financing and fuel costs are: Lexus CT200h, Mercedes S400, Lincoln MKZ and Infiniti M35h.

The lowest cost hybrid is the new Honda CR-Z (purchase, financing and five-year fuel costs = $39,173). The most expensive hybrid is the Lexus LS 600h (purchase, financing and five-year fuel costs = $176,167).

The hybrid vehicle that offers the greatest savings over its closest conventional counterpart is the new Lexus CT 200h which, over five years, is $3,378 less expensive to own and operate than the Toyota Venza I4.

The hybrids with the greatest greenhouse gas (GHG) emission advantage over their gas-only equivalents are:

Toyota Prius (48% fewer GHG emissions)
Lincoln MKZ (48% fewer GHG emissions)
Lexus CT200h (46% fewer GHG emissions)
Honda CR-Z (44% fewer GHG emissions)

The 2011 BCAA analysis of 23 vehicle pairings is based on a fuel price of $1.35 per litre and an annual driving distance of 20,000 kms (50/50 highway/city). The base analysis was altered to test the impact of higher fuel prices, greater distances driven and the re-introduction of a provincial sales tax incentive. The results are:

Price of Gas (per litre) Annual kms driven $2000 sales tax rebate? # of hybrids less expensive # of hybrids more expensive
Analysis A $1.35 20,000 No 4 19
Analysis B $1.35 20,000 Yes 10 13
Analysis C $2.00 20,000 No 8 15
Analysis D $1.35 40,000 No 13 10

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