Local EcoDriver Programs
EcoDriver delivery agents offer presentations, information displays and booths in several Ontario communities.
Collingwood: Environment Network
Durham Region: Durham Sustain Ability
Hamilton and Halton: Green Venture
Peel: Community Environment Alliance
Thunder Bay: Eco Superior
Toronto: Toronto Green Community
York Region: Windfall Ecology Centre
North Bay: Greening Nipissing
Buying a Fuel-Efficient Car
Which vehicle you choose can make a big difference to your annual emissions as well as how much you spend in a year on gas.
How Much Can You Save?
Even between cars in the same vehicle class the differences can be staggering. MORE
- Among mid-size cars, for example, the most fuel-efficient model in 2008 would cost an estimated $1,700 a year for gas, while one in the mid-range would cost around $2,754.
- Over ten years, that adds up to more than $10,000 in savings - and sixteen tonnes of carbon dioxide that's not warming up the planet.
|Estimated annual fuel costs|
|Best in class||10th best||Median|
|Based on 20,000 km, $1.25/litre, $1.35 premium
and NRCan fuel efficiency ratings for 2008
Things to Consider
More ways to save. MORE
- Options for Occasional Uses: If you need towing capacity, but only a few times a year, you may not need to buy a big 4x4. You'll save money and reduce emissions by buying a smaller vehicle for commuting. The savings will more than pay for truck rental for those occasional hauling trips.
- Cargo Space: If you drive your kids to hockey practice, you may think you need a minivan to carry all the equipment, but many modern wagons have ample cargo space, use up to 30% less gas, and emit 30% less carbon dioxide.
- Cheaper Financing: Some credit unions offer rates as low as prime for loans to purchase fuel efficient vehicles. Citizen's Bank of Canada and the Bay Credit Union are two we know of. Ask your local credit union if they do too. You could save up to $3,000 in interest over five years.
- Rebates: Ontario retail sales tax credits of up to $2000 are available for hybrids, and other alternatively-fueled vehicles. Smaller credits are available for cars with highway ratings of 6.0 L/100km or less.
- Lower Taxes: The lower your new car's fuel consumption the less tax you'll pay. Incremental taxes of to $4,000 federally and $7,000 provincially are now being levied on fuel inefficient vehicles.
Check the Label
Understanding the EnerGuide label. MORE
- The EnerGuide Label is the official Government of Canada mark for energy consumption. One should be posted on all new cars.
- These labels provide a good basis for comparison because all vehicles go through the same tests.
- Driving styles vary, and gas prices fluctuate, so your results may not be the exactly the same as the posted ratings, but the labels are still a useful tool when comparison shopping.
Consider the Extras
Which ones you pick can make a big difference. Some will help you save while others will cost you more at the pump. MORE
- Manual Transmission: Weighs less and is mechanically more efficient than an automatic.
- Continuously Variable Transmission: Generally 8 to 10% more efficient than conventional automatic transmissions
- Overdrive: Saves fuel at cruising speeds
- Cruise Control: Improves efficiency on highways, and prevents inadvertent speeding.
- Tachometer: Allows monitoring of engine speed (rpm). Keeping rpm low saves fuel.
- Tinted Glass: Reduces cooling load.
- Block Heater: Increases fuel efficiency in winter.
- Fuel Consumption Read-out: Displays real-time fuel efficiency & assists the driver to identify fuel saving habits.
- Larger Engine: Weighs more and consumes more fuel.
- 4-Wheel Drive: Uses more fuel than 2-wheel drive & adds 100-200 pounds in weight.
- Air Conditioning: Using it puts an extra load on the engine, and the equipment adds about 100 pounds in weight.
- Sunroof: Adds aerodynamic drag and extra weight. More sunlight also increases cooling load.
- Power Seats, Power Locks: Every motor and actuator adds to the vehicle weight.
- Heated Seats, Heated Cupholders: Using them puts an extra load on the engine.
The Hybrid Option
Hybrids use two energy sources - a gasoline engine and a battery which powers an electric motor. MORE
- Hybrids are more efficient because the battery stores energy that is normally lost while braking, which means they can use up to 37% less fuel, and emit 37% less carbon dioxide than equivalent gasoline-only vehicles.
- Save on gas: Depending on how much you drive, the gas savings from a hybrid may pay for the upfront investment within just a few years. To learn more, and find a tool to calculate the long term savings visit www.hybridexperience.com.
- Save on the purchase price: In Ontario, hybrids are eligible for $2000 rebates on the Retail Sales Tax. Some credit unions offer cheaper financing on hybrids as well.
Useful Comparison Tools
Find out how different vehicles measure up. MORE
- Fuel Consumption Guide: Each year, Natural Resources Canada compiles a booklet of fuel efficiency ratings for all new cars . Call 1-800-387-2000 to order your free copy.
- Online Fuel Efficiency Ratings: The NRCan fuel consumption database includes listings for cars and light-duty trucks sold in Canada since 1995. You can use it to compare used cars as well as new ones.
- ecoENERGY for Vehicles Awards: Natural Resources Canada presents awards each year to the most fuel-efficient vehicles in each class.
Download "EcoDriver Tips for buying a fuel-efficient vehicle" Brochure Adobe PDF (439 KB)