(Updated on December 17, 2019)
For the past 15 to 20 years, hybrid cars have gotten a lot of attention. These are vehicles which operate on both electricity and gasoline.
Basically, the hybrid has an electric motor which gets power from an electric generator. The generator is driven by the internal combustion engine that uses gasoline.
With all these different sources of power available, the hybrid vehicle can use more electrical power and less gasoline. This means that fewer carbon emissions will go into the environment.
However, there are still some factors which prevent more people from purchasing hybrid cars. In order to determine if a hybrid car is a good purchase to make, you need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of buying one.
Top 5 Advantages of Hybrid Cars
Below are the five biggest benefits of owning a hybrid vehicle.
#1 – Good for the Environment
The whole purchase of a hybrid car is to reduce the amount of carbon emissions that get released into the environment. Since hybrid vehicles use an electric motor and a gasoline engine, this cuts down on the amount of gasoline which gets burned during the operation of the vehicle.
#2 – Lighter Vehicle
Lightweight materials are used to make hybrid vehicles so that the electrical energy will be sufficient enough to move the vehicle. This means less dependency on the gasoline engine.
#3 – Financial Incentives
The federal government provides a tax credit to residents of any state that own or lease a hybrid vehicle. There are also some states, like California, which offer cash rebates to any of its residents who purchase or lease a hybrid vehicle.
With all these financial incentives, it could greatly reduce the overall cost of your vehicle.
#4 – Good Resale Value
Gasoline prices fluctuate every year and can directly be affected by conflict in oil producing countries as well as random issues at refineries which can temporarily halt fuel production.
This is causing more people to turn to hybrid vehicles for either relief from gas prices or to not be so dependent on oil. As a result, people are willing to pay good money for even a used hybrid vehicle in good working condition.
#5 – Braking Helps Recharge Battery
When you step on the brake pedal in a hybrid vehicle, it will activate a mechanism which gives the battery a little extra recharge. This allows there to be more time before the next manual recharge that you need to perform.
Top 5 Disdvantages of Hybrid Cars
Here are the five biggest negatives of owning a hybrid vehicle.
#1 – Costlier
Like previously mentioned, the main reason that more people are not switching to hybrid vehicles is due to the cost. The cheapest hybrid vehicle is between $20,000 and $30,000, whereas the cheapest gasoline vehicle is priced much lower than that.
An extra $10,000 or so can certainly be a deciding factor for many people who are living on a fixed income or tight budget.
#2 – Not as Powerful
Even though a hybrid vehicle has an electric motor and a single engine to supply its power, this combined energy is not adequate for “spirited” driving. If you are only driving around your city or for commuting purposes, then it’s fine. But typical hybrids are simply not as powerful as most regular gasoline powered vehicles.
#3 – Costly Maintenance and Repairs
Hybrid vehicles use a dual engine; one for the electric and one for the gasoline. A lot of mechanics out there may not have the expertise to repair such engines.
If you do find qualified mechanics, they are likely going to charge you a lot more money to work on your hybrid vehicle. On top of that, it may be costlier to maintain the vehicle, especially when it comes time to replace the main battery.
#4 – Bad Handling
Hybrid car manufacturers are continuously trying to make their vehicles lighter in order to make them more fuel efficient. Since a hybrid needs an electric engine, gasoline engine, and batteries, this adds a lot of weight to the vehicle.
So, this has forced manufacturers to make smaller batteries and motors. Meanwhile, the body and suspension do not have as much support as they did before.
#5 – Electrocution Risk on Accidents
The batteries of hybrid vehicles have a higher amount of voltage in them. While very rare, if you get into an accident, this voltage could injure or even kill you inside the vehicle. It could also make it harder for other people to get you out of the vehicle.