The Toyota Tacoma has long been popular within the ski community. However, in a community which is becoming increasingly aware of climate change, maybe it is time to consider other options. What else could compete you may ask, what else could I dream of rolling up to the ski hill in? How about a Toyota Prius?

You may be sceptical, with its inferior ground clearance and "lack" of room but hear me out. With the Prius releasing an AWD model, its winter performance is continually increasing and that lower ground clearance (5.3 inches, totally reasonable) just means a lower center of gravity resulting in better handling in those 90% of conditions. In reality, we just don’t get days with over 5 inches of collected snow on the road as much as we get mostly bare roads, that is what your parks pass and taxes pay for anyways – snow plows. Regarding space, a roof box for your skis/boards is an easy solution because no sane person leaves their luggage or ski boots in the bed of their truck when the alternative of warm, enclosed cabin is available.

Here is where things really pick up though. We won’t delve into the political climate of Alberta right now, but what we do know is that we are subject to a Carbon Tax, be it provincial or federal. What does that mean for your skiing? It means that each liter of gas is going to cost approximately 6.63 cents more in 2020, increasing in the future. A Tacoma uses approximately 113L in a round trip from Edmonton to Lake Louise, a Prius uses 40 L which is over 60% less fuel and therefore cost. Point Prius.

From the carbon tax alone, this results in approximately $8 increase from the Tacoma and only a $2.6 increase for a Prius on top of your typical fuel spending. In 10 ski trips, that is $80 and $26 more than it would have been before this tax. However, the government is giving Albertans annual rebates of $444 to cover this increase in cost. By choosing the more fuel-efficient vehicle, it means that $418 is money that you can pocket for new ski gear, rather than offsetting your fuel cost. To top it all off, the federal government offers rebates for purchasing more efficient vehicles. Buying a new Prius earns you a $2500 rebate – plenty for a roof rack, some new skis or a snowboard and maybe even part of your season pass. Typically, they are cheaper to begin with too. Point Prius.

So, basically, the Government is set up to subsidize your ski season and all you need to do it put a little thought into your vehicle choice. Now, this may not be the solution for everyone, but the times are calling for a shift in the way we make our choices. Even if you don’t do it for your ski season… maybe think about doing it to help take care of this wonderful planet we call home?

Carbon Tax Information from The Star