Manufacturers offer more hybrids than ever before, but most continue to cost more than their gas-only equivalents: BCAA study

Analysis also shows that affordability of hybrids increases
dramatically if owners drive more than average

BURNABY, BC, June 13, 2011 /CNW/ - 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

###

About BCAA
BCAA strives to deliver an amazing experience to its 790,000 members, providing peace-of-mind and meeting their automotive, road travel and insurance needs. BCAA is the largest organization of its kind in B.C., with $400 million in gross annual sales and a Member in one-in-four B.C. households. In addition to receiving award winning roadside assistance and insurance services, Members can also take advantage of CAA dollar rewards, insurance discounts and the Member exclusive Show Your Card & Save program. To learn more about BCAA's benefits, services and advocacy, visit www.bcaa.com.

BACKGROUNDER                                                                                                                    June 13, 2011

BCAA 2011 Five-year Hybrid Vehicle Cost Analysis

Ranked
by Hybrid Savings
(or costs)
Make & Model Vehicle Type Purchase Price (MSRP) ($) Total 5-year cost ($) 5-year hybrid saving /
(extra cost) ($)
CO2 emissions
(kg/ 5 years)
Reduction in CO2 emissions (%)
  Toyota Venza I4 Conventional 29,310 51,974   19,550  
1 Lexus CT 200h Hybrid 30,950 48,596 3,378 10,580 46%
               
  Mercedes-Benz S450 Conventional 108,000 153,739   26,680  
2 Mercedes-Benz  S400 Hybrid 107,800 150,681 3,058 21,850 18%
               
  Lincoln MKZ FWD Conventional 38,400 63,008   22,080  
3 Lincoln MKZ Hybrid 42,200 61,571 1,437 11,500 48%
               
  Infinity M37 Conventional 63,400 98,881   22,310  
4 Infinity M35h Hybrid 67,300 98,638 243 15,870 29%
               
  Honda Civic SE Conventional 20,780 38,732   16,330  
5 Honda CR-Z Hybrid 24,290 39,173 (441) 9,200 44%
               
  Toyota Highlander V6 Conventional 37,750 63,912   24,840  
6 Toyota Highlander Hybrid Hybrid 42,850 65,079 (1,166) 15,840 36%
               
  Honda Civic EX-L Conventional 23,880 42,652   16,100  
7 Honda Civic Hybrid Hybrid 27,350 43,834 (1,182) 10,350 36%
               
  Hyundai Sonata GLS Conventional 26,249 46,925   17,710  
8 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Hybrid 29,999 48,335 (1,410) 11,730 34%
               
  Toyota Camry SE Conventional 27,755 47,133   17,710  
9 Toyota Camry Hybrid Hybrid 31,310 48,854 (1,721) 13,110 26%
               
  Honda Civic DX-G Conventional 19,780 37,293   16,100    
10 Honda Insight Hybrid 23,900 39,611 (2,318) 10,810 33%
               
  Porsche Cayenne S Conventional 72,700 107,641   25,530  
11 Porsche Cayenne Hybrid S Hybrid 77,500 111,354 (3,712) 21,620 15%
               
  Toyota Matrix 4A+CP Conventional 20,770 37,779   16,790  
12 Toyota Prius Hybrid 27,500 41,514 (3,735) 8,740 48%
               
  Lexus IS 250 Conventional 34,500 57,882   18,630  
13 Lexus HS250h Hybrid 40,850 62,879 (4,997) 13,110 30%
               
  Lexus RX350 Conventional 52,000 81,134   23,000  
14 Lexus RX450h Hybrid 59,550 86,484 (5,351) 15,870 31%
               
  Ford Fusion SEL I4 Conventional 26,499 47,533   18,630  
15 Ford Fusion Hybrid Hybrid 34,499 53,840 (6,307) 11,500 38%
               
  Nissan Altima 2.5S auto Conventional 25,298 43,886   17,250  
16 Nissan Altima Hybrid Hybrid 33,398 51,665 (7,778) 13,340 23%
               
  Cadillac Escalade AWD Conventional 84,935 131,048   29,670  
17 Cadillac Escalade Hybrid Hybrid 95,080 139,965 (8,917) 22,080 26%
               
  Chevrolet Silverado/Sierra Crewcab LT Conventional 39,710 72,865   31,970  
18 Chevrolet Silverado/Sierra Hybrid Crewcab Hybrid 51,790 82,636 (9,771) 21,620 32%
               
  Lexus GS 350 Premium Conventional 59,150 93,444   22,540  
19 Lexus GS450h Hybrid Hybrid 71,750 106,112 (12,668) 18,860 16%
               
  Ford Escape XLT 4X2 Conventional 25,599 47,388   20,240  
20 Ford Escape Hybrid 4X2 Hybrid 38,399 60,530 (13,142) 14,030 31%
               
  GMC Yukon/Tahoe SLT 4x2 Conventional 54,560 90,096   28,060  
21 GMC Yukon/Tahoe Hybrid 4x2 Hybrid 68,815 104,914 (14,818) 21,390 24%
               
  BMW X6 xDrive 50i Conventional 81,000 126,486   29,670  
22 BMW X6 Activehybrid Hybrid 99,900 149,544 (23,059) 26,680 10%
               
  Lexus LS 460L Conventional 101,100 148,194   25,990  
23 Lexus LS 600h Hybrid Hybrid 121,750 176,167 (27,973) 22,770 12%
               

Notes and assumptions:

  • The 5-year total costs include the initial purchase price, financing (20% down/8%) and fuel costs at $1.35 per litre. Maintenance, repairs and insurance costs are not included.
  • The average annual driving distance used was 20,000 kilometres.
  • Resale value and long-term depreciation is unknown and assumed to be neutral.
  • MSRP and PDI information obtained from autos.ca and auto manufacturers.
  • The full version of the 2011 BCAA Hybrid Cost Study is available at: www.BCAA.com

 

 

SOURCE British Columbia Automobile Association

For further information:

Editor's notes

For further information, or to request an interview, please contact:

Niela Melanio
BCAA Public Affairs Advisor
Office: 604-268-5342 (M-F between 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
Cell: 778-228-8859 (any time)
Email: niela.melanio@bcaa.com

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British Columbia Automobile Association

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