Burnaby, British Columbia – Gasoline-electric hybrids have saved thousands of tonnes of emissions since their introduction to North America a dozen years ago, but they have yet to save their owners much money if any, according to the British Columbia Automobile Association (BCAA).

According to the annual Hybrid Vehicle Cost and Savings Analysis released by 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.

Those who can save include hybrid owners who drive more than the average, or those who bought their vehicles when the $2,000 provincial sales tax rebate, eliminated with the introduction of the HST, still applied. When BCAA adjusted the annual kilometres driven in the analysis from 20,000 to 40,000, then 13 of the 23 models became less expensive to own and operate over five years. Similarly, when the sales tax rebate was hypothetically added into the analysis, ten of the 23 models become more affordable.

“Hybrids can make a significant difference to the environment,” said BCAA president and CEO Tim Condon. “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.”

Among the report’s findings:

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

– The lowest cost over the five-year purchase, financing and fuel costs studied was the Honda CR-Z, at $39,173 with all costs included, while the most expensive was the Lexus LS600h, at $176,167.

– The hybrid offering the greatest savings over its closest conventional counterpart was the Lexus CT200h, which worked out to $3,378 less expensive to own and operate over five years than the Toyota Venza.

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