The Pros and Cons of Driving a Hybrid Car

Car Guides    Donovan

Toyota Prius C Hybrid (Photo Credit: Toyota)

Today, around 10% of the new car market is dominated by Petrol-Electric, or Hybrid Vehicles. Why is that?

Many people view driving a hybrid car as an encouraging and modern move, and that pure petrol vehicles are soon going to be relegated to the pages of history. Car makers are embracing this move and are moving away from producing purely fuel-powered cars in favour of Hybrid and electric vehicles as well.

While car buyers do see the value in hybrid cars, there were around 20,000 hybrid vehicles on the roads at the start of the year, they have their advantages and disadvantages, like everything in life. Let’s start with the advantages of hybrid cars.

Advantages

1) High Fuel Efficiency

Pumping Petrol(Photo Credit: Pexels)

A hybrid car is a vehicle that is able to switch between fossil fuels, usually petrol, and an alternate energy source, usually electricity. By switching between the two powered engines whenever needed, it both conserves energy and fuel.


2) No Plug-In Is Usually Required

Alternative Auto Automobile 110844(Photo Credit: Pexels)

With a full electric car, it can only go a certain distance before you need to plug it into a charging point to juice up the car. With a normal hybrid car, the petrol/diesel engine will power the electric motor, which in turn will charge the battery. So, you will only need to worry about when to hit the pumps. Since you are driving a hybrid car, that shouldn’t be too often.

There is another kind of hybrid car called a Plug-In Hybrid, where the car is mainly powered by its electric motor and batteries. With a Plug-In Hybrid car, like the name suggest, you will need to plug it into a charging point after a certain amount of distance travelled.

In such a car, there is a small petrol/diesel-powered engine that can be called upon to bring the car further when the charge on the battery is low.


3) Regenerative Braking Function

Thanks to the hybrid car’s electric motor, it is able to capture energy lost when the car is braking to charge the car’s battery. Under braking, a mechanism in the hybrid car kicks in and captures the energy. The energy will be transferred back to the battery which in turn, saves energy and fuel used to charge the battery.


4) It Saves the Earth!

Float Floating Globe 1275393(Photo Credit: Pexels)

With the earth running low on fossil fuels and undergoing climate change due to greenhouse gases produced from such fossil fuels, it is more environmentally friendly to drive a hybrid than driving a purely petrol-powered car. Yes. it’s cool to drive a hybrid car now!


5) Good Resale Value

Handing Money

Some might say your car is an asset, others might say it is a liability. Well, the truth is, it is both. It’s an asset on paper, but you spend money on it constantly and it loses more and more of its value each year.

While you will still lose some money selling your hybrid car, demand is rising due to the reasons listed above. So, if your car is in a good condition, you should be able to get a decent price compared to the equivalent petrol/diesel-powered vehicle on the second-hand market.


Disadvantages

1) Rising Prices

As mentioned earlier, demand for hybrid cars are rising, and thus, so are the prices for them. Not just on the second-hand market though, new hybrid cars are more expensive as compared to a few months ago due to the changes in the Vehicle Emission Scheme (VES).

Under the new VES, only electric cars which don’t have exhaust pipes can get the maximum rebate of $20,000. Due to the addition of a criteria relating to how much particular matter (fine soot) a car produces, which most hybrid cars do, a surcharge will be imposed on many hybrid cars instead of a rebate.


2) Less Powerful

Due to the nature of a twin-powered engine in a hybrid car, it is usually less powerful than a petrol/diesel-powered car. The fossil fuel powered engine in a hybrid car is usually much smaller than in a normal car as well.

Also, the electric motor in a hybrid car is usually low powered, so both engines combined is fine for city driving, but it might have some trouble driving at high speeds.


3) High Maintenance Costs

Adult Automobile Body 422197(Photo Credit: Pexels)

Compared to petrol/diesel-powered car which only has one engine, a hybrid car has effectively two engines and a big battery. So, more parts in a hybrid car could go wrong as compared to a normal car.

Also, with hybrid cars, their battery could cause trouble down the road and might need to be replaced. The exact cost of a new battery is hard to nail down, but it will cost a few thousand dollars, an expense a normal car owner won’t ever have to deal with. Do check with the dealer if the hybrid car has any kind of guarantee or warranty on the battery.


4) Bad Handling

With a great big electric motor and battery comes a heavy car. More weight means lesser fuel efficiency for the vehicle, so hybrid car manufacturers go to great lengths to strip weight from the car, by making adjustments to the body and suspension. Thus, comes the difficult handling.


5) More Dangerous in an Accident

The voltage in the batteries in a hybrid car is extremely high. In the event of an accident, the batteries could catch fire easily or electrocute people in the car when an accident occurs. In turn, the task for first responders to rescue people trapped in a hybrid vehicle is more difficult as compared to a normal car.


Do you drive a Hybrid car? Are you thinking about getting one yourself? Let us know in the comments below!

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1 Comment

Siti Zahra

What's safer? a hybrid or a fuel-powered car?

Like Reply 18 days ago
Donovan

Hi Siti, that is subjective to what you deem a safe car. Apart from the basic safety procedures and tools in every car, different cars have other safety tools and protocols in them which the manufacturer decides should go into the car to make it safer. Do check with the dealer when you go to buy a car what the car has to make its occupants safer!

Like 18 days ago
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