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Hybrid gas savings no deal says report

Only one model of hybrid, the Mercedes Benz S400 delivers substantial savings over its gas-powered equivalent after five years of driving, according to a new report.

Mercedes Benz only car to deliver substantial savings, but at much higher price

Only one model of hybrid car, the Mercedes Benz S400, delivers substantial savings over its gas-powered equivalent after five years of driving, according to a new report.

The report was released today by the British Columbia Automobile Association.

Workers assemble 2010 Prius hybrid vehicles at Toyota's Tsutsumi plant. An analysis suggests the Prius delivered the fewest carbon emissions of all hybrids currently on the road. ((Shizuo Kambayashi/Associated Press))

The BCAA looked at 16 hybrids on the market and made calculations using the sticker price along with the cost of gasoline based on a driving distance of 20,000 kilometres a year for five years.

The BCAA found that the S400 would cost $145,262 to purchase and drive for five years compared with the S450 gasoline model, which would cost $150,622. The S400 is also the only hybrid that currently sells for less than its gasoline equivalent.

On Thursday Ford announced it will price its 2011 Lincoln MKZ the same or lower than its gasoline model.

According to the BCAA, a Honda Civic hybrid would cost $42,664 over five years, slightly above the $42,364 for a conventional Honda Civic EX.

The biggest price difference between conventional and hybrid, said the BCAA, goes to the Lexus GS 450h with five-year costs calculated at $103,889, well above the cost of the conventional Lexus GS 350, which came in with a cost of $82,504.

Toyota Prius a clear winner on carbon emissions

But when it comes to reducing carbon emissions Toyota, Ford and Honda models lead the pack, the report said.

The Toyota Prius delivers 55 per cent fewer greenhouse gas emissions than its gasoline counterpart, the Ford Fusion 38 per cent and the Honda Civic 27 per cent.

The report found that, overall, the Prius also spewed the fewest emissions of all hybrids on the road today, pushing out 1,748 kilograms of carbon per year. The report said the worst hybrid performer was the Lexus LS600h, which pumped out 4,554 kilograms.

The BCAA urged consumers considering a hybrid to factor in carbon emissions as well as cost.

"We believe that many consumers are willing to pay a bit more to go 'hybrid' if it will reduce their carbon footprint," said BCAA spokesman Trace Acres.