Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Transportation | Tipping point for hybrids?

with 6 comments Vancouver

Citizens are finally demanding electricity-powered cars—many years after David Suzuki bought Canada’s first hybrid.

Well this citizen isn’t and I have lusted after an electric car for years. But when it came time to replace the 12 year old minivan I had a bad case of sticker shock. One good thing about Toyota is that there is no dickering, so you can do price comparisons on line and know before you go to the dealership what the bottom line is. For you do not pay the often quoted “price” because you are going to have to pay taxes and fees, delivery and you will probably want something more than the absolute base model.

So for me the choice came down to the hybrid Prius at around $40k – and fuel consumption of 4.1 l/100km or the slightly less exotic Yaris for which I paid around $20k and am expecting 6.3 l/100km. These figures do not include the Government rebate since you cannot actually get it yet ($2k for the Prius, $1k for the Yaris) – though the claim forms are expected to be available … in due course.

You can buy a lot of gas for $20k – so for someone who does not too many kms (there were only 150,000 or so on the old van after 12 years) the economic case is not there. And the rebate is, frankly, irrelevant. And anyway, I do not want to invest an extra $20k upfront in my mobility for not very much return other than bragging rights. And I will be burning a lot less fuel than I was in the old van too – that was getting around 12 l/100km at the end.

And if I was going to throw that kind of money around on a car I think I would expect a bit more than better fuel consumption.

My Yaris

Written by Stephen Rees

August 23, 2007 at 6:10 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Snazzy looking little red rocket! Love the colour. What kind of trunk space do you get with the batteries in the back?

    Linda Sawyer

    September 7, 2007 at 5:14 pm

  2. This is not a hybrid, so no batteries in the back. Trunk space is (to use the expression always used by Rolls Royce on questions of specification) “adequate”.

    Stephen Rees

    September 7, 2007 at 5:34 pm

  3. UPDATE October 1

    The claim form for the tax rebate is now available from

    Stephen Rees

    October 1, 2007 at 10:32 am

  4. Update October 22

    I sent the form in. Three weeks later they send me a letter saying they have my application and they are going to check it – very carefully. I wonder how much this programme costs to administer?

    Stephen Rees

    October 22, 2007 at 2:57 pm

  5. Update

    No refund yet – but they did call me. Apparently there is someone else with the same name also trying to get a rebate. So they wanted to know my middle name.

    Makes me wonder if someone reading this blog thought they could get my rebate

    Stephen Rees

    October 31, 2007 at 9:47 am

  6. Update

    Cheque arrived today – two months to turn around a payment

    Stephen Rees

    November 26, 2007 at 1:25 pm

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