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Choosing the right vehicle

There are many things to consider when you buy a new vehicle: price, comfort, styling, environmental factors and more. Choosing the most fuel-efficient vehicle that meets your everyday needs can save you money and help the environment.

It’s worth putting some time into your choice. Consider that fuel consumption can range from less than 2.0 gasoline litres equivalent per 100 km (Le/100 km) for a battery-electric vehicle to more than 20.0 litres per 100 km (L/100 km) for a large SUV.

So driving 20,000 km a year can cost from less than $500 to more than $4,000. Meanwhile, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions can range from 0 to more than 9 tonnes, depending on the vehicle you buy.

Consider your powertrain

A vehicle’s powertrain is made up of the components – such as the engine, transmission, drive shaft, suspension and the wheels – that make a vehicle go. Today, you can choose from a wide range of powertrains.

Conventional vehicles offer the greatest selection

Manufacturers continue to improve the fuel efficiency of gasoline and diesel engines. A diesel engine is even more efficient than its gasoline counterpart, but gasoline provides better selection.

Hybrid-electric vehicles, or hybrids, use both a conventional internal combustion engine and an electric motor, which is more energy efficient than a conventional powertrain, especially in city driving. Hybrids have battery packs that are charged with electricity generated by the vehicle. They can’t be plugged in to recharge. When hybrids are operating in electric-only mode, they emit no CO2 or other emissions. The typical hybrid offers fuel savings and CO2 reductions of 20 to 40% over gasoline-only vehicles.

Electric vehicles offer the most fuel-efficient choices

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) are hybrids that have high-capacity batteries that can be recharged by plugging them in. When operating in electric-only mode, PHEVs produce no tailpipe emissions.

Battery-electric vehicles (BEV) use electric motors that draw electricity from on-board rechargeable batteries. They are the most fuel-efficient vehicles available, with an average combined consumption rating of 2.3 Le/100 km. BEVs produce no tailpipe emissions.

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