With gas prices in the GTA expected to reach a base price of $2 per litre this summer, let’s take a quick look at how much can be saved on fuel by comparing the regular gas, hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) versions of two of the most popular crossovers on the market – the Toyota RAV4 and the Ford Escape.
Helping to make our comparisons is Natural Resources Canada’s Fuel Consumption Guide, which lists the fuel consumption figures for every vehicle and publishes an annual estimate of how much it will cost to fuel each. This estimate is based on three things: driving 20,000 kilometres per year, a 55 to 45 per cent mix between city and highway, and a fuel price of $1 per litre (which we will simply double).
For the Toyota RAV4, the base cost of a 2022 RAV4 AWD starts at $31,090, compared to $38,150 for the RAV4 Hybrid SE and $44,990 for the RAV4 Prime PHEV SE. The AWD is estimated to cost $3,360 per year for gas, compared to $2,400 for the Hybrid and $1,666 for the Prime. This includes electricity costs of 15 cents per kilowatt-hour and a very healthy 68 km all-electric range that could make for little or no gas use depending on your commute. The $960 you’re saving per year to upgrade from regular gas to the Hybrid model would take you roughly 7.5 years recoup the added purchase cost – assuming gas stays at $2 per litre.
The base model of the RAV4 Prime also qualifies for a $5,000 federal government rebate. Applying the rebate, the Prime currently costs $1,840 more than the regular Hybrid model, meaning the $734 yearly savings in fuel could be made up in roughly 2.5 years. Annual savings of a RAV4 Prime compared to the gas-only AWD add up to $1,694 per year, but still translates to a lengthy 5.3 years to cover the extra purchase cost in non-rebate provinces.
For the 2022 Ford Escape, there are SE variants of the gas, hybrid and PHEV models. The gas version starts at $31,699, the Hybrid at $35,599 and the PHEV at $40,849. Given that the gas SE is estimated to use $3,680 of fuel yearly, and the Hybrid $2,360, that $1,320 yearly difference will take just under three years to equalize. The PHEV’s annual fuel use – gas and electricity – is estimated at $1,590.
The Escape PHEV’s qualifies for the federal government’s $5,000 rebate, so when that is applied its starting price is a mere $250 more than the Hybrid. The PHEV’s estimated annual fuel use of $1,590 will basically pay for itself around the time of the final, fading wisps of new car smell (just over four months). Compared to the gas version, the PHEV’s annual $2,090 in savings works out to almost exactly two years to recoup its purchase cost.
Michael Bettencourt bought his first EV in late 2011 and has followed the Canadian EV scene ever since. Follow him on Twitter @MCBet10court
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN...