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Westerners really do love their pickup trucks: survey

(NC) Where we live in Canada determines the type and size of vehicle we drive, as if we needed proof that westerners love their pickup trucks and city slickers love their cars and station wagons. Not surprisingly, fuel consumption rates are also higher in provinces with a greater number of larger vehicles.

A survey by Natural Resources Canada shows approximately 45 to 55 per cent of all vehicles driven in British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are pickup trucks and Sport Utility Vehicles while roughly the same percentage of vehicles driven in Ontario and the Maritimes are cars or station wagons. Quebecers drive more cars and station wagons than any other province at about 70 per cent while Albertans drive the highest number of pickup trucks and SUVs at roughly 60 per cent. Newfoundland and Labrador is split almost 50/50 between cars and pickup trucks. Overall, about 60 per cent of Canadians drive cars and station wagons while 40 per cent drive pickup trucks and SUVs.

The survey also found an interesting correlation between type of vehicle and fuel consumption. Not surprisingly, the provinces with the highest gasoline fuel consumption (measured in L/100km) include British Columbia at 11.6L/km and Saskatchewan at 11.5L/km while Nova Scotia and Quebec have the lowest gasoline fuel consumption at 9.6L/km and 9.9L/km respectively.

The survey results are a strong reminder that the size and type of vehicle we drive, no matter where we live, has a direct effect on the amount of fuel we consume. Larger vehicles cost more to fill up at the pumps and produce more greenhouse gas emissions than smaller, more fuel-efficient vehicles. The trick is to ask yourself if you really need a larger vehicle when a smaller, more fuel-efficient one will do. The choice is entirely up to you depending on your location, lifestyle, occupation, personality and requirements. Natural Resources Canada has posted some great tools, tips, videos and fact sheets on fuel-efficient driving to help you at www.vehicles.nrcan.gc.ca.

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