Everything You Want to Know About Hybrid Cars

Are you thinking about going green and buying a hybrid vehicle? If you haven’t done your research yet, this may help you.
Everything You Want to Know About Hybrid Cars

The first thing you should know before picking out a hybrid vehicle is how it works. The definition of hybrid is combining two elements into one. A hybrid car is combining a gasoline powered engine with an electric motor. Each hybrid car will have an internal-combustion engine and fuel tank paired with electric motors and battery packs.

Often times many people think a hybrid vehicle is the same as a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, which isn’t the case. Hybrid vehicles use their gasoline powered engine as their main energy source, and use their electric engine to collect and reuse energy that normally goes to waste in a non-hybrid car. On the other hand, in a plug-in hybrid vehicle, the gasoline powered engine is only used as a back-up when the electric engine’s batteries runs out of charge.

What Do Hybrid Cars Cost?

Going green to help save the environment comes at a price – and it’s not a small one. Hybrid cars are generally a few thousand dollars more than their counterparts, generally ranging from $2,000-$5,000 more. If you normally travel short distances and don’t use a lot of gas, buying a hybrid may not be the best financial decision for you. This is because it could take years for you to save at the pump what you will pay up-front for the hybrid portion of the car.  On the other hand, if you have a long commute to work and have to stop a couple times a week to fill up, then you could be saving a lot of money over the course of a single year with less frequent gas station stops.

Benefits You’ll Experience with a Clean Air Car

Most people know that hybrid vehicles allow you to use less gas while driving and therefore you can save money, but not everyone is aware of the other benefits that go along with a “clean air” car. Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) reduce petroleum consumption and cut down on greenhouse gases by three different mechanisms:

  1. Reducing wasted energy by turning the internal combustion engine, or simply put – gas motor, off when idling or coasting downhill
  2. Regenerative braking – capturing and using the energy that is usually wasted by a conventional car
  3. Reducing the size and power of a gas-powered engine by using the added power from the electric motor to make up for the loss in power output
  4. Better aerodynamics – hybrids often have a better aerodynamic profile
  5. Lighter weight materials – made with lighter materials which causes less weight for the engine to move

If you are someone who lives by a busy street or highway you may be glad to know that hybrids are also quieter on the roads. Because of the use of the electric motor they have a reduced noise emission making them quieter while they are passing by.

As mentioned above, they cut down on the amount of pollution entering our atmosphere. Over the years, battery toxins have been a big problem due to the harmful chemicals being released into the ground because people didn’t dispose of them properly. The hybrid vehicles use nickel-metal hydride batteries which can be fully recycled without causing any harm or pollution to the air. Some car manufacturers, like Toyota and Honda, even pay money for each battery returned to them for recycling.

Disadvantages of Going Green

As with anything in life, buying a “go green” car isn’t all rainbows and butterflies. Not only are they more expensive than their conventional counterparts, they also come with bigger and more expensive batteries that can be very costly to replace, should you need to. These vehicles are built for economy and conservation, not get-up-and-go which means they tend to be less powerful than you may wish them to be. Also, because they are somewhat new to the market, the maintenance costs can be on the higher side, but by the time your vehicle needs any repairs in the next few years, those costs are likely to drop.

Driving a Hybrid Car

Normally you can hop into your parent’s, sister’s, brother’s, or friend’s car and take off without a problem, but if they happen to drive a hybrid vehicle you may be in for a surprise. These vehicles handle differently, and drive differently than a conventional vehicle that you’re used to. They are made with light-weight materials and have smaller engines which could make them a little harder to handle. No, this doesn’t mean you’re going to fly off the road into on-coming traffic or a ditch, but it can make parking and turning a different experience.  

When you hit the brake pedal a mechanism kicks in that starts to recharge your battery. It’s rare to feel this process happening, but it has been reported with some earlier model hybrid cars that drivers have experienced a “jolt” when braking and the mechanism starts or when accelerating and the mechanism stops.

As We See It

No one will be able to make the decision of buying a hybrid vehicle for you, it has to be something you decide on your own, but we can help provide you with the facts that will help you in your decision making process. If you’re someone who drives long distances, isn’t looking for a ton of horsepower, and likes the idea of less fill-ups, a hybrid might be the best option for your wallet.

If you still haven’t made up your mind, Auto Credit Express can help point you in the right direction to a nearby dealership in your area that sells both conventional and hybrid vehicles for you to test drive. If you’re worried that your bad credit scores will hold you back from getting the car you want, you can now throw that fear out the window. We have been helping bad credit customers find dealerships that will get them approved for auto financing for over twenty years. Apply online with us today and you could be test driving your next hybrid electric vehicle, or gas-powered car tomorrow.

Posted on October 22, 2013 by in New Cars
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