BCAA's annual hybrid cost comparison: Several models remain cost competitive, in spite of lower fuel prices and loss of federal rebate



    BURNABY, BC, June 2 /CNW/ - Thinking of buying a hybrid? According to a
study released today by the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA),
you will still pay a premium to purchase a hybrid, but over five years, many
models come close in cost to their conventional counterparts - some will even
save you a few dollars.
    BCAA has released its annual "Clean Air Day" analysis of the costs of
owning and operating hybrid vehicles compared to their conventional
counterparts. This year's analysis shows that several hybrids are cost
competitive with their conventional equivalents in spite of lower gas prices
than last year and the elimination of the federal ecoAUTO rebate.
    BCAA compared the purchase, financing and operating costs of all 18
hybrids available in B.C. with comparable conventional models over a five year
period. New models this year include the Honda Insight, Chrysler Aspen Hybrid,
Cadillac Escalade Hybrid, Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra Hybrid and Ford
Fusion Hybrid. Variables such as fuel costs and the provincial Alternative
Fuel Vehicle Tax Concession were incorporated. The study assumed a constant
pump price of $1.04 per litre. The findings revealed the following:

    
    -   The Honda Civic Hybrid is the most cost competitive showing a saving
        of $1,771 compared to the conventional Civic over five years. The
        Honda Insight Hybrid is second best with a five-year saving of $530
        over a comparable conventional Civic.

    -   While only the Civic and Insight hybrids show savings, the extra
        costs associated with six other models are less than $1,500. Those
        models are: Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid; Toyota Camry Hybrid; Toyota
        Prius; Toyota Highlander Hybrid; Chrysler Aspen Hybrid, and; Saturn
        Aura Hybrid.

    -   The Toyota Prius continues to show the largest emission savings with
        51 per cent less CO(2) emissions than its closest conventional
        equivalent. Newcomer Ford Fusion Hybrid comes second with 40 per cent
        less CO(2) emissions.

    -   In the Hybrid SUV category, the vehicle with the lowest carbon
        footprint is the Ford Escape, which also comes out on top when
        comparing emissions with comparable SUVs - 36 per cent less than a
        conventional Escape.

    -   The 2009 Hybrid analysis is the first to include a pick-up truck -
        the Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra Hybrid. The Chev/GMC hybrid pick-
        up carbon footprint is 30 per cent smaller than its conventional
        equivalent, and the five-year cost differential is about $3,300.
    

    "The biggest differences between this year and last are the price of gas,
and the fact that consumers can no longer rely upon a federal rebate to lower
the purchase price of their hybrid," says Trace Acres, BCAA's director of
corporate communications and government relations. The federal ecoAUTO Rebate
program, which concluded in 2008, offered incentives of up to $2,000 on the
purchase of a highly fuel-efficient vehicle.
    "The price of gas continues to be the single biggest factor in
determining whether or not owning and operating a hybrid makes economic
sense," adds Acres. "As our analysis shows, at $1.04 per litre, only two
models end up being less expensive over five years. But as gas prices go up,
more hybrid models start to look financially favourable." BCAA re-ran the
analysis at different gas price points and found that at $1.24 per litre, four
of the 18 hybrid models were cheaper, and at $1.54 per litre, seven of the 18
were cheaper.
    "But it's not all about the cost," concludes Acres. "BCAA research shows
that consumers who would consider buying a hybrid are more likely to do so for
environmental reasons than to save money. Reducing emissions by up to 50 per
cent is a substantial saving to the environment."
    Acres cautions prospective hybrid buyers to examine emission ratings as
well as sticker prices, as some models may appear cost-effective, but offer
only modestly lower carbon emissions.
    The detailed analysis can be found at www.bcaa.com/hybrids.

    About BCAA

    BCAA is dedicated to meeting the needs of its members and customers
throughout B.C. and the Yukon, connecting them with a team of membership,
automotive, travel and insurance professionals. With over 793,000 members and
$130 million in revenues, BCAA is the largest organization of its kind in B.C.
and the fourth largest CAA-affiliated association in Canada. For the past
three years, BCAA was named one the 50 Best Employers in Canada by
international HR consultants Hewitt Associates and the Globe & Mail's Report
on Business magazine. To learn more about BCAA's products, services and member
advocacy, visit www.bcaa.com. For more information on the BCAA Traffic Safety
Foundation visit www.tsf-bcaa.com.

    
    BACKGROUNDER

                    BCAA 2009 5-year Hybrid Cost Analysis

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ranked                                         5-year              Diff-
    by                                             hybrid             erence
    Hybrid                                         saving/    CO(2)  in CO(2)
    Savings                               Total    (extra    emiss-   emiss-
    (or         Make &        Vehicle    5-year     cost)      ions     ions
    cost)        Model           Type   cost ($)     ($)   (kg/year)      (%)
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Honda Civic EX   Conventional    40,791                3408
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1   Honda Civic
         Hybrid                Hybrid    39,020     1,771      2160      37%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Honda Civic
         DX-G            Conventional    35,552                3408
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2   Honda Insight
         Hybrid                Hybrid    35,022       530      2256      34%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Chevrolet Malibu
         ILT             Conventional    42,681                3840
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    3   Chevrolet Malibu
         Hybrid                Hybrid    42,702       (21)     3312      14%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Toyota Camry SE  Conventional    44,552                3696
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    4   Toyota Camry
         Hybrid                Hybrid    44,796      (244)     2736      26%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Toyota Matrix
         XR              Conventional    38,144                4032
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    5   Toyota Prius           Hybrid    39,058      (914)     1968      51%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Toyota
         Highlander      Conventional    60,436                5184
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    6   Toyota
         Highlander
         Hybrid                Hybrid    61,509    (1,073)     3696      29%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Saturn Aura XE   Conventional    41,811                3744
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    7   Saturn Aura
         Hybrid                Hybrid    43,060    (1,249)     3312      12%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Chrysler Aspen   Conventional    80,029                6432
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    8   Chrysler Aspen
         Hybrid                Hybrid    81,121    (1,092)     4752      26%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Ford Fusion
         SEL I4          Conventional    43,005                3888
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    9   Ford Fusion Hybrid     Hybrid    45,346    (2,341)     2352      40%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Ford Escape XLT  Conventional    47,397                4608
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    10  Ford Escape
         Hybrid                Hybrid    50,244    (2,846)     2928      36%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Saturn Vue XE    Conventional    46,248                4512
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    11  Saturn Vue Hybrid      Hybrid    49,377    (3,129)     3504      22%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Chevrolet
         Silverado/GMC
         Sierra          Conventional    65,572                6480
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    12  Chevrolet
         Silverado/GMC
         Sierra Hybrid         Hybrid    68,909    (3,337)     4560      30%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Lexus RX350      Conventional    72,674                4848
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    13  Lexus RX400h
         Hybrid                Hybrid    76,926    (4,252)     3888      20%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Nissan Altima    Conventional    40,988                3696
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    14  Nissan Altima
         Hybrid                Hybrid    47,597    (6,609)     2784      25%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Lexus GS 350     Conventional    83,413                4800
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    15  Lexus GS Hybrid        Hybrid    90,559    (7,146)     3936      18%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Cadillac
         Escalade        Conventional   123,357                7008
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    16  Cadillac Escalade
         Hybrid                Hybrid   131,804    (8,447)     5568      21%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        GM Tahoe/Yukon   Conventional    85,949                6240
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    17  GM Tahoe/Yukon
         Hybrid                Hybrid   100,938   (14,988)     4560      27%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
        Lexus LS 460L    Conventional   140,801                5184
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    18  Lexus LS Hybrid        Hybrid   168,113   (27,312)     4752       8%
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Notes and assumptions:

    -   Total 5-year cost includes initial purchase price, financing and fuel
        costs at $1.04 per litre, less applicable tax rebates. Does not
        include maintenance or insurance costs.
    -   Annual driving distance is 20,000 kilometres (50/50 city, highway).
    -   Long-term depreciation and resale values remain unknown so are
        assumed to be neutral.
    -   Federal EcoAuto rebate ended in 2008.
    -   The Toyota Matrix/Prius comparison and the Honda Civic/Insight
        comparison was used due to similar design and specifications.
    -   MSRP and PDI information obtained from MSN Auto or direct from
        manufacturers.
    -   PST on vehicles over $55,000 increases to a max of 10%.
    -   Financing rates assumed to be the same on both vehicles. Monthly
        payment calculated using Loan Payment Calculator on Coast Capital
        Savings website.
    -   Fuel consumption data from National Resources Canada - 2009 Fuel
        Consumption Guide or direct from manufacturers.
    





For further information:

For further information: or interview requests, please contact: Trace
Acres, Director, BCAA Corporate Communications and Government Relations, Tel:
(604) 268-5029, Cell: (604) 788-3753, E-mail: tracea@bcaa.com; Jennifer Timm,
BCAA Media Relations Advisor, Tel: (604) 268-5342, Cell: (778) 228-8859,
Email: jennifer.timm@bcaa.com


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