All About Hybrid Cars
What Is a Hybrid Car?
Hybrid vehicles have two types of engines working together, a standard gas powered engine and an electric motor assist powered by a rechargeable battery pack. In theory, this environmentally friendly combination of gas and electric hybrid technology gives you higher gas mileage and lower engine exhaust emissions. We'll explain how in a moment. Hybrids are not to be confused with electric vehicles. Hybrid cars are primarily gas powered cars with electrical motor assist. Some hybrid SUVs are even SULEV rated (Super-Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle), appealing to the environmentally conscious new car buyer.
Pros and Cons Of Owning a Hybrid Car
- Hybrid vehicles run cleaner. Toyota claims their cars are up to 80% cleaner than conventional gas engines
- Hybrid cars are environmentally friendlier than conventional gas engine cars, and have lower emissions
- You typically get 8 year warranties on the hybrid system
- Tax deductions/credits may be available
- If enough people drive hybrids responsibly, our oil consumption will drop, leading to lower prices
- If most of your driving is stop and go city traffic at slow speeds, you'll see a big benefit to owning a hybrid
- In some states, driving a hybrid vehicle earns you the perk of being a single occupant vehicle in the HOV lane
- If most of your driving is on open highway at high speeds, you'll see little benefit to owning a hybrid
- Some high demand hybrids have waiting lists and often sell for premiums over window sticker price
- Hybrid cars and SUVs can cost a few thousand more than their conventional gas engine counterparts
- Gas savings can take years to recoup the additional purchase price
- You will probably not achieve the claimed EPA fuel economy estimates for hybrid cars or conventional gas cars for that matter
How Much Better is Hybrid Car Gas Mileage?
Hybrid cars achieve the biggest gas mileage gain over a standard car when you are doing city driving where you can get 50% - 70% better gas mileage. You should check the specific model that you are looking at to determine how much you will save.
If using less gas is your main goal you can save money buying a used hybrid or even a regular car that gets good gas mileage. Usedcars.com has created a special section to help you find fuel efficient used cars. Click here to search for fuel efficient used cars in your area. You might find that you can save gas and save a lot of money by buying used.
If you live in a big congested city, you are a prime candidate for a hybrid car. In times of peak demand, selling prices could be full MSRP or higher. Don't ever pay this much, wait until the demand dies down.