Hybrid vehicles have become popular due to the ever-rising cost of fuel. With their battery packs and with their efficient engines, these vehicles have given the average car buyer the ability to stretch their fuel economy further than ever before. This is because when not needed, the internal combustion engine shuts off and the car runs on purely electric power. However, when more power is needed such as the case when overtaking or accelerating the engine comes alive and works in tandem with the electric motors to get the car going.
While this technology is indeed good and can greatly improve the modern car, it does come with a couple of drawbacks that may make some prospective car buyers think a bit harder before they purchase a hybrid vehicle. That being said, we will quickly discuss the pros and cons of buying a hybrid car.
Pros of buying a hybrid
One of the main benefits of getting a hybrid vehicle is that you can go further on a single tank of gas. As previously mentioned, there is an electric motor and battery pack present in these vehicles. This reduces the need for the internal combustion engine to always be on to get the car moving. When not needed a hybrid will automatically shift to its battery pack and electric motor to power the car forward. This in turn lessens the need for oil and gas as these aren’t used as often when compared to a gas or diesel-burning vehicle. Examples such as the Toyota Corolla Cross can easily get double-digit figures in the city and on the highway in terms of fuel efficiency.
Another benefit of getting a hybrid or even an electric vehicle is that you benefit from tax breaks. That's right these vehicles are cheaper to register compared to their fossil fuel counterparts. You will only end up paying for a fraction of the cost but with the benefit of fuel savings.
While hybrid vehicles aren’t 100 percent eco-friendly as they still use gasoline or diesel to keep their internal combustion engines running, they are, however, better for the environment in terms of emissions. With the engine not being on all the time, they emit fewer carbon emissions compared to their fossil fuel counterparts.
If you are worried about the battery pack of the vehicle, worry not as manufacturers are offering great warranties on these items to ensure that customers get a hassle-free experience. Brands like Toyota and Nissan offering warranties for their electric and hybrid vehicles go beyond the typical use cycle of a car and are very stringent when it comes to their capacities. Nissan takes this very seriously as battery packs are immediately replaced if they can no longer hold a 90 percent charge. Worry not as these battery packs despite not being able to hold as much charge will still be reused by automakers for their factories and other projects that may need a decent battery pack.
Cons of buying a hybrid vehicle
Hybrids are expensive
Hybrid vehicles are typically more expensive compared to their internal combustion engine counterparts. This is because you are paying for the latest technology that these automakers have to offer in terms of transportation. Developing this new technology does come at a cost after all. In the Philippine setting, some manufacturers like Nissan and Toyota have made waves by making their hybrid vehicles more affordable for the average consumer. The Nissan Kicks is a prime example of this as it is priced competitively and can go toe to toe against its fossil fuel-burning rivals.
Hybrids aren’t exactly quick
While it is true that electric motors do deliver near-instantaneous torque, you have to remember that mass-market hybrid vehicles are built for fuel efficiency and not necessarily for performance. It is important to note that there are mild-hybrid vehicles out there that do pack a punch, but they aren’t always going to be as efficient compared to full hybrids that prioritize giving you the most out of your gasoline. Remember normal hybrids encourage you to drive slower to utilize electric motor power more often to help you save gas.
Hybrids carry the latest technology available from the manufacturer, however, with great power comes great responsibility as there is more to repair in case something goes wrong. The very sensors and computers that make sure the car is running right can fail which can be a tricky thing to fix, unlike a fossil fuel vehicle which is simpler in its design. When something does go wrong with the hybrid system it will require special tools to fix especially when it comes to the electric motors or battery packs. This means that you will be spending even more money on repairs if these parts do fail.
Cost vs Gas savings
We recently did a video comparing the non-hybrid Corolla Cross to its hybrid variant. Caco did a bit of math and found out that if you drive the hybrid long enough the cost difference in their price tag will start to make sense. The savings that you do get on gas may not outweigh the extra money that you will end up spending on the car itself. So, you may not see the cost savings when you are paying more money for your monthly premium than you would have if you had purchased a conventional vehicle.
To end we have a few wise words from Caco, “When you buy an automobile make sure that the price of that car works for you and you don’t work yourself to the ground to pay for the car.” If a hybrid is out of your budget then it's best not to pursue it. Also just remember that hybrids are still a fairly new technology and will improve in time in terms of their battery capacities and their fuel efficiency.
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