Fuel Prices Hit Hybrid Sweet Spot in Canada

fuel prices hit hybrid sweet spot in canada

For the last two weeks, Canadian gas prices have hovered between $1.36/L and $1.47/L. In American terms, that's roughly $5.60/gallon. CTV News is reporting that this price level looks like the sweet spot for the average Canadian hybrid driver; that is to say, the point at which the long-term savings from lower fuel consumption outweigh the up-front savings from buying a conventional petrol-only vehicle. The finding is based on a study conducted by the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA). They projected operating costs for 13 hybrids (versus their respective, conventional ICE brethren) over five years, assuming 20,000 km driven/year. The result: seven out of 13 hybrids were cheaper to operate. Leading the way: the Honda Civic Hybrid. The gas – electric whip cost some $4k less to run than its petrol-powered counterpart. Notable by its presence, the Prius was compared to the Matrix and came out… second. The Prius cost $86 more to operate over five years. Unfortunately, the study focused primarily on sticker pricing (meaning the domestics, which don't sell anything for sticker, were again disadvantaged), and didn't include depreciation. So… what?

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  • Serpico Serpico on Jun 25, 2008

    I still see more gas guzzlers on the road here in Vancouver than Prius or hybrids. We always had a love for Civic's and small cars, so nothing new to say. A neighbor just picked up a big ass V8 Tundra, so gas prices isn't changing some peoples' minds. Just drive less if you can and drive differently that's all.

  • Brendon from Canada Brendon from Canada on Jun 25, 2008

    psarhjinian - My point was more that I find the decision making process backwards for these issues. I often find people (especially parents) looking for vehicles that will swallow "X" stroller; given the relative price points, it seems to me that you might be better suited looking for a stroller to fit "X" car, given that the total cost of ownership of a car is significantly more expensive then the stroller (and is obviously an ongoing cost). I've also come across many parents that need "X" huge SUV in order to install 3-across car seats; no reason why you can't by smaller (and slightly more expensive and safer!) car seats that fit 3 across in a regular sized car/SUV. (Disclaimer: I have no problem with large SUVs, and am considering buying one for fun myself, I just don't see the need to justify their existence when you can do a weekend away with a baby using nothing more then a Mini Cooper!) For what it's worth, I would have grabbed the Fit as well - I simply find it's extremely useful packaging - as you said, smaller but more useable space! wstansfi - we currently have a lime green Quinny Zapp (I think that's the name); you can actually probably fit 2 of them into the trunk! There are a number of models that fit into the Mini, and this is actually one of the smaller ones. We have enough room to throw few groceries or an overnight bag in as well. As long as you are pushing on pavement, it's a great travel stroller as well (comes with should strap carry bag). Another alternative is to use a backpack - we have a relatively cheap one that fits into the overhead compartment on airplanes that we use when travelling.

  • Psarhjinian Psarhjinian on Jun 25, 2008

    Brendan, The stroller (or wheelchair) metric, on it's own, is useless because you're right about the price points. The thing is, a stroller is a good acid test of the usefulness of the trunk to a young family, much like suitcases or golf-bags are to older, more wealthy buyers.** If you cannot fit your stroller in the trunk easily, or it eats most of the space, you can be assured that there will come a day in the near future (probably in a mall parking lot or just before a family vacation) when you'll curse the car. ** it always bugs me that most magazines rate trunks by golf- or grocery bags. Grocery bags are easy (unless you drive a Sky) and golf bags are only the concern of Mercedes or Buick drivers. :P

  • Brendon from Canada Brendon from Canada on Jun 25, 2008

    psarhjinian, While I understand the point you are trying to make, I don't agree with your assessment. A stroller that can't fit in your trunk could just as easily represent a poor stroller design (i.e., as an extreme example, a non-foldable stroller will fit in few, if any, trunks!). I will concede that there is (what certain people would consider) a trade-off; simply the ability to carry additional goods; I just question the value of these goods in comparison to the initial (and on-going) costs of a vehicle. Naturally, everyone has their particular desires - which is what makes our free market so great! Oddly enough, I'm in an unusual position of actually paying attention to the golf bag numbers from manufacturers; I'm far from an avid golfer (nor a Buick or Merc shopper!), but I do need to carry clubs to entertain clients, so it's actually useful to me (though most of the time, I wish it wasn't!), though I suppose a roof box would work just as well... hmmmm....