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In this age of revolution against fossil fuels and their use, Hybrid vehicles seem to tick all the right boxes when it comes to motorists looking at options that will leave a smaller carbon footprint on our Earth. Thinking that you might want to buy a hybrid? Keep reading…
The modern hybrid looks just like any other car, and you may not even recognize it as such. Hybrids get driven much the same as a normal gas guzzler, with the exception that you bet much better mileage per gallon of gas, and that can relieve a buttload of stress from your monthly budget, and you.
So, is a hybrid car a good buy, and how do they work? In this post we look at this, outline some pluses and minuses, and give you the info you need to decide if a hybrid is the way to go for you. Whatever you decide to buy, Nationwide Auto Transportation can deliver it safely, and without any added mileage.
What is a Hybrid Car?
To put it simply, a hybrid car uses both gasoline as well as electricity to power the drive train. At times both the gas engine, as well as the electric motor is used to power the car, whereas other times, only one of the motors takes control of the task
It seems that almost every automaker in the United States offers some kind of hybrid car. From supercars to minivans and pickup trucks, you should find a shape or type you like. Read on to learn more about the types of hybrids on the market, and if you are looking at selling your current vehicle, our post, Best Place to Sell a Car Online in 2021 will make this process a bit easier.
Hybrid cars: what types are there?
There are different types of hybrid vehicles, and learning about them is important to understanding how they work. Today’s hybrid cars fall into four main categories. These are:
- Parallel hybrid cars: These are the most common type of hybrid car and feature an electric motor that works in conjunction with a gasoline engine to propel the vehicle. One of the most common examples of this kind of hybrid is the Toyota Prius. It has three modes of propulsion:
- Together, the electric motor and gasoline engine power the wheels
- Some situations only use the gasoline engine to power the wheels
- Occasionally, the electric motor alone powers the wheels
- Mild Hybrid, Micro Hybrid, or Light Hybrid cars: These are hybrids that are on the fence between battery-powered vehicles and fully electric vehicles. The battery provides a boost to the gasoline engine. While these engines aren’t as fuel-efficient or economical as full hybrid vehicles, they do help to extend the range of conventional vehicles. Mild hybrids are common in many new cars on the road today. The 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE is a mild hybrid vehicle.
- Plug-in hybrid cars or PHEV cars: They combine the advantages of a hybrid and an electric vehicle. PHEVs need to be plugged in to be fully charged and some combine a gas engine with a PHEV system. The car is powered by its battery during short drives. The gasoline engine takes over during longer drives. The Chevrolet Volt and Kia Niro are two examples of Plug-in Hybrids.
- Series hybrid cars or Range-Extended Hybrids: These are cars that use a gasoline engine to recharge the electric motor’s battery pack. The car is driven by its electric engine while the gasoline motor serves solely as a charging aid for the battery, and not propulsion. Battery-powered vehicles require a plug to “refuel.” They only use the engine to charge their batteries. The BMW i3 with the range extender gasoline engine is an example of this type of hybrid.
How do hybrid cars work?
The wheels of a hybrid are driven by a gasoline engine coupled with an electric motor. The exact way that a hybrid works varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and vehicle to vehicle, but all follow the same general principles:
- When you gently accelerate from a stop and at low speeds: The electric motor powers the drive wheels as soon as you step on the gas pedal. At around 35 – 40 mph, the gasoline engine kicks in and powers the wheels.
- The gasoline engine performs the work when you are travelling at regular freeway speeds. During this time your gas engine recharges the battery.
- In a hybrid car, you are using the battery when you coast downhill or when you apply pressure to the brakes. During this time, your hybrid car may also charge the battery.
- When you put some pedal to the metal to move the car quickly, a hybrid usually uses both motors to send power to the wheels.
Depending on the model, hybrids can be front-drive, rear-drive, or all-wheel drive. There are also hybrid cars with continuously variable transmissions, or CVTs. A shiftless transmission changes from one gear setting to another continuously. Some drivers may take some getting used to the bizarre, disconnected driving experience but some more expensive brands do offer conventional auto transmissions.
Most people don’t love CVTs because they often have a strange disconnected feeling. There are hybrids with standard automatic gearboxes available from some luxury brands. Along with their specialized transmissions and engines, hybrid cars are also extremely efficient. How come?
- Acceleration is one of the best qualities of electric motors. Hybrid cars feel quick off the line because they can produce maximum power from a standstill.
- For long distance cruising, gasoline engines are very efficient.
Which Hybrids are the Most Efficient?
The fuel efficiency of hybrid cars attracts many car owners and if you are considering buying a hybrid because of this, you should know that some are much more fuel efficient than others. These include:
|Make and Model||EPA Miles per Gallon|
|Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid||58 mpg combined|
|Honda Insight||52 mpg combined|
|Toyota Prius||56 mpg combined|
|Toyota Corolla Hybrid||52 mpg combined|
|Camry Hybrid||52 mpg combined|
|Kia Niro||50 mpg combined|
|Honda Accord Hybrid||46 mpg combined|
A hybrid sedan is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles on the market, but if you are more of an SUV kinda person, Ford has the Escape, Toyota sells the Highlander and RAV 4 and for lovers of luxury Porsche, Tesla and Lexus are the hybrids to look at.
How Do Hybrid Cars Stack Up?
As with most things in life, when it comes to buying a hybrid there are weights on both sides of the scale. Let’s start by looking at what will make you smile:
- Improved fuel efficiency – If you own a hybrid vehicle, you will spend less at the pump since you won’t have to fill up as frequently. A few years of savings can sometimes compensate for the price difference between a hybrid and a non-hybrid vehicle.
- They are environmentally friendly in comparison to gasoline-only vehicles. These are great for cities since they emit less greenhouse gas and generally run on cleaner electric power.
- Thanks to their electric motors, they can accelerate rapidly from a stop.
- They are very easy to drive and function just like a regular gas car.
- In some states, you can deduct some of your taxes if you own and drive a hybrid car.
- No stress about getting stranded – As a rule, hybrids (unless you own a PHEV) don’t require you to plug them in to have power to drive, unlike electric vehicles. All you have to do is keep the gas tank full and you can go anywhere.
There are quite a few pluses for hybrids, but what are the negatives?
- For the most part, hybrids are more expensive to purchase or lease than gasoline-only vehicles. You can expect to pay up to 15% more for a hybrid.
- There are fewer and fewer tax incentives for hybrid cars. To find out what kind of tax benefits may still be available, check with your local and state tax officials.
- If you buy a used hybrid car, you may need to replace the battery pack. In most cases, hybrid batteries are covered under the warranty that came with the car and that warranty will often be transferred from owner to owner. The cost of replacing a battery pack is around $3000 if your vehicle is out of warranty.
- Hybrid cars can be more expensive to maintain than gasoline cars. If you’re going to buy a hybrid, do your research.
Weigh up the pros and cons and then see how you feel. Do the positives reflect what you are looking for in a hybrid, or any new vehicle. Remember, if you are buying something a bit out of the ordinary, like a Porsche or other luxury or classic car, our post Nationwide Custom Car Transport: Getting Your Investment There and Back in Pristine Shape is written with you in mind.
How Do Hybrid Cars Compare With Electric Cars?
If you research hybrids, you can also find information on EVs, or electric vehicles. Electric vehicles are technically not hybrids. Electric vehicles are not propelled by a gasoline engine, but by an electric motor. These cars must be plugged in to charge. Tesla and the Chevrolet Bolt are examples of electric vehicles.
Hybrids and EVs have several benefits and drawbacks. Compared to hybrid vehicles, electric cars are more environmentally friendly since they use electricity instead of gasoline, however, they can only go as far as their battery allows them. Whenever the vehicle’s battery dies, it must be plugged in to recharge. Electric car owners often plug their cars into a charging station overnight at their homes, and for them to continue using their car if the battery dies at any point during the day, they must find a charging station nearby.
Because they need to be charged constantly, electric cars are viewed as a hassle by many people, even though they are more environmentally friendly. This is one reason why hybrid vehicles seem to be more popular than electric cars. Hybrids offer car owners the best of both worlds.
How Long Do Hybrid Cars Last?
The lifespan of a hybrid car, just like that of a gasoline car, can last for many, many years if it is well maintained. Many hybrids are covered by warranties that cover things like the electric motor and batteries. Car makers in states such as California, Massachusetts, Maine, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont are required to offer batteries with a 150,000-mile warranty. When you buy a used hybrid car, those warranties typically transfer from owner to owner.
How Much Maintenance do Hybrid Cars Need?
Hybrid cars generally require no extra maintenance or different repairs than regular gasoline vehicles. Occasionally, however, the maintenance can be slightly more expensive due to the fact that some of the technology is more advanced. Consider the maintenance costs of a hybrid car before purchasing one.
Can Hybrid Cars Be Used For Long Distance Travel?
Before you buy a hybrid, it’s important to determine if it’s right for your lifestyle. If you drive long distances on a regular basis, this is really valuable info for you.
Hybrids are generally not thought of as ideal for long distance driving due to their battery life, and the assumption is that a hybrid vehicle might suddenly stop working if the battery runs out during a long drive… But let me reassure you, that’s not true.
In a hybrid vehicle, both gasoline and electricity are used for power. If a hybrid’s battery dies on a long trip, it would still be powered by its gasoline engine. When there is gas in the tank, hybrid vehicles continue to run. So even if you typically drive long distances, a hybrid vehicle may still be the right choice for your lifestyle. If you are buying a hybrid in another state, Nationwide Auto Transportation would love to give you a FREE QUOTE to ship it home.
Is it Easy to Charge Hybrid Cars?
Hybrid cars are relatively easy to charge, depending on the type you have.
To keep the battery charged in a ‘regular’ hybrid car, all you need to do is fill up the gas tank every now and then. With these,as well as mild hybrids, a generator (powered by a gas engine) recharges the battery.
For plug-in hybrid vehicles, you will need to charge the batteries on a regular basis. It is possible that the gasoline engine may provide some charge to the battery pack, but it is more likely that you will need to plug in to top up the batteries.
A plug-in hybrid is typically equipped with a charging cable that plugs into an outlet and the battery can be charged overnight. Public charging stations can also be found at grocery stores and malls. Just park and plug in while you shop. You are charged for the amount of electricity used to recharge the car. You can then unplug and drive away. Most public chargers accept credit card payments.
Are Hybrid Cars Able to Save Energy?
In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, hybrid cars generally use technology like regenerative braking and other technological advancements to have less of an environmental impact. They are also more aerodynamic, so they consume less energy than their strictly gasoline peers.
Engines powered by gasoline tend to run more efficiently at high speeds, while electric motors are more efficient at low speeds. The combination of two types of power enables hybrid cars to go longer distances and use less fuel.
Hybrid cars can also save energy by harnessing regenerating braking. These systems are common in hybrid vehicles. In regenerative braking systems, friction from braking is converted into energy.
As hybrid cars are all about efficiency, they also have very aerodynamic designs. As a result, the shape of the vehicle is changed on top and underneath to allow air to flow smoothly. Aerodynamic drag is reduced, and the car glides through the air more efficiently as a result.
It’s probably no secret that Toyota Prius and Honda Clarity PHEVs have an odd shape, right? Rather than due to a designer’s aesthetic sense, the shape is more aerodynamic and therefore more energy efficient.
Can Hybrid Cars Save the Environment?
By emitting less CO2 and greenhouse gases, hybrid cars help the environment. These gases cause everything from respiratory problems to global warming. So, Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No…It’s Super Prius!
There are many fuel-efficient cars available today, and many states like California and New York have tightened their environmental standards for car emissions. This helps reduce the amount of pollution that is released into the air by cars that use just gasoline or diesel. The electric motors in hybrids help them emit fewer emissions.
While hybrids and plug-in hybrids are cleaner, they don’t have a zero-impact on the environment. For one, hybrid battery packs contain heavy metals and other elements that are environmentally damaging to mine, and dispose of. The electricity that plug-in hybrid cars use to recharge, is often produced by dirty technologies such as coal.
Is It Worth Buying a Hybrid Car?
If there is one thing that is certain in these absolute uncertain times, it is that gasoline and other fossil fuels are running out, and causing extensive damage to our planet, while we burn it all up. Therefore you can be guaranteed that fuel is only going to get more expensive, and fossil fuel tax is becoming a reality. Here are more reasons to consider buying a hybrid car:
- As a result of their high price tag, they often have nicer interiors than regular cars and are just as comfortable to drive.
- Their carbon dioxide emissions are low and they are environmentally friendly. Global warming and emissions are making our planet a warmer place, which explains why we should consider the impact of our driving habits. Besides, if your kids have allergies or asthma, driving a greener car will reduce the amount of pollutants they breathe in, which can aggravate their symptoms.
- There are many types of hybrids available in all price ranges. Regardless of your lifestyle, you can find a seat that fits your needs without sacrificing good looks, performance, or space.
- Saving money on gas is a sure thing. Whenever gas prices fluctuate, your wallet won’t be so affected since you won’t have to fill up as often.
Are Hybrid Cars Worth it?
Do your research before you purchase a hybrid car and make sure the car you’re considering meets your needs. Take into account:
- How much space do you need in your car and what is your typical passenger count?
- Hybrids are generally more expensive than regular cars, and it takes a long time to recoup the cost in gas savings.
- Logistical considerations: Before purchasing a plug-in hybrid, make sure you have access to an outlet outside your home or in your apartment building, otherwise you won’t be able to take advantage of all the benefits provided.
A hybrid might be a good idea if you commute long distances at highway speeds. It might not be worth it to pay the additional cost for a hybrid if you have to drive a mile to work.
What is the Price to Buy a Hybrid Car?
The cost of hybrid cars is generally higher than that of gasoline-only cars, although prices can vary a lot. Many states and the federal government offer tax incentives to offset their costs. There is a wide range in price between hybrids and gas vehicles, and it really depends on the type of hybrid and the brand.
In order to learn more about whether or not you can get a tax offset for owning a hybrid, it might be wise to talk with an accountant or tax professional.
Is a Hybrid Car a Good Buy for Me?
By understanding how hybrid cars work, the pros and cons of owning one, and the cost considerations of owning one, you are sure to find the perfect hybrid for your family and for yourself. Keep in mind that Nationwide Auto Transportation will get your green car home, with no hassles and no added mileage. Contact us today for a free, no obligation quotation.
So you know that you want to buy a car, but have you really given thought to what kind of car you want? Check out our ultimate car buying guide to learn which car types are best suited to your needs and lifestyle. Need your car shipped? Click here for a FREE car shipping quote and 20% OFF your first shipment.