the pros and cons of hybrid vehicles

For your next car, you might be considering a hybrid. Hybrid cars have become increasingly popular in recent years, and it’s easy to see why.

So, what exactly is a hybrid car? And, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

  • A hybrid car is one that uses two or more engines, i.e. an electric motor and a conventional engine
  • They are environmentally friendly
  • However, they are not as powerful

 

We advise people on different types of cars every day, and we’ve noticed how popular hybrids have become. That’s why we’ve decided to write an article all about hybrid vehicles.

What is a hybrid car?

Firstly, what is a hybrid car?

A hybrid car is one that uses two or more engines, i.e. an electric motor and a conventional engine (either petrol or diesel). The point of having two engines is that it cuts fuel consumption and therefore conserves energy.

Some examples of hybrid cars are;

 

the pros and cons of hybrid vehicles

What are the benefits of a hybrid car?

There’s a reason that hybrids are becoming increasingly popular. And that’s because there are just so many advantages. Some of these include;

 

  • It’s environmentally friendly
    • This is one of the biggest advantages of a hybrid car. It runs cleaner and has better fuel consumption than a petrol powered car. This makes it significantly more environmentally friendly. This brings me onto our next advantage…
  • There’s less dependence on fossil fuels
    • A hybrid car is much cleaner. It requires less fuel to run which means lower emissions. Which means less dependence on fossil fuels. This, in turn, helps reduce the price of petrol in the domestic market.
  • It comes with financial benefits             
    • Hybrid cars are supported by many credits and incentives that help them become more affordable. These are things such as lower annual tax bills and exemption from congestion charges in the form of less amount of money spent on the fuel. This is subject to overall CO2.
  • It has a regenerative braking system
    • Every time you brake while driving a hybrid vehicle, it helps recharge your battery. There is an internal mechanism that kicks in that captures the energy released and uses it to charge the battery. This in turn, eliminates the amount of time and need for stopping to recharge the battery.
  • Hybrid cars are built from light materials
    • This means less energy is required to run them. The engine is also smaller and lighter which saves a lot of energy.
  • They have a higher resale value
    • With the continuous increase in the price of petrol, more and more people are turning towards hybrid cars. The result of this is that these green vehicles have started commanding higher than average resale price. So, in the case you are not happy with your vehicle, you can always sell it at a premium price to buyers looking for one.

With a hybrid vehicle, you can control your budget much easier than you would if you had a petrol engine. This is because of the continuously rising fuel prices. Also, another huge benefit is the one that you cannot see. And that’s how owning a hybrid impacts the environment. It reduces the dependence on fossil fuels and lowers your carbon footprint. What’s not to love?

What are the disadvantages of a hybrid car?

There are huge advantages to hybrid vehicles. However, they also have their fair share of disadvantages too. For example;

 

  •   They aren’t as powerful
    • Hybrid cars have twin powered engines. This means that the petrol or diesel engine is much smaller compared to what you get in a single engine powered car. The electric motor is also low power. The combined power of both is often less than that of a petrol powered engine. Therefore, a hybrid car is better suited to city driving and not for speed or acceleration.
  • They can be pricey
    • Many of the incentives are now gone for Hybrids. Although, there are still incentives for plug in Hybrids.
    • However, you can offset that cost with lower running costs and tax exemptions
  • Poorer handling
    • A hybrid car houses a petrol/diesel powered engine, a lighter electric engine, and a pack of powerful batteries. This adds weight and eats up the extra space in the car. Extra weight then results in fuel inefficiency.
    • Manufacturers have cut down the weight. Except this has resulted in motor and battery downsizing and less support in the suspension and body.
  • Higher maintenance costs
    • The presence of a dual engine, continuous improvement in technology and the higher maintenance costs can make it difficult for mechanics to repair the car. It is also difficult to find a mechanic with such an expertise in the area.
  • Presence of higher voltage in batteries
    • Now, this one is a bit morbid. The batteries in a hybrid car are of such high voltage that it can prove lethal. Batteries in hybrid and electric cars generate voltages much higher than your average car battery. This means that if someone were to touch the power cables or a short circuit diverted power into a person, there’s a chance they’ll die. Not that they would, but it’s probably not the car for a training mechanic.
    • Naturally, this proves dangerous for emergency services in the event of a car accident.
    • However, gas-powered vehicles are just as dangerous, but the danger is different. Gasoline is equally as dangerous as an exposed power line.
    • Also, most hybrid and electric cars have extensive safety systems in place. These include completely shutting down and isolating the battery packs in the event of a collision, short circuit, or if you’re submerged in water.

What is the cheapest hybrid vehicle?

The cheapest hybrid vehicle is the Toyota Yaris Hybrid. The MRRP (manufacturer’s recommended retail price) starts at £15,240.

What is the most expensive hybrid vehicle?

black BMW i8 driving round a corner on a track

The most expensive hybrid vehicle, on the other hand, is probably the Mercedes-Benz C-Class C300h. This has a MRRP of £36,015.

Or, if you really wanted to, you could get the BMW I8 which is going for a cool £104,485.

What should I consider before getting a hybrid car?

Hybrid cars are expensive. Even though they quite a few incentives. In all honesty, the reason they have so many incentives is because they are so expensive.

Therefore, it is important for you to really think about whether you need a hybrid car. If you are going to be using the car to do quite a lot of mileage, and are going to be using it often, are you going to break even on the running costs?

You also have to consider whether you are happy having a less powerful car. But ultimately, it’s your choice.

Hybrid cars are great for fuel efficiency and for the environment. They’re perfect for the more environmentally-conscious driver. But, maybe not so much a driver who loves their cars powerful. There are a lot of pros and cons to hybrid cars, and it’s up to you to decide which outweighs which.

thinking about upgrading your car? read our article on when you should upgrade your car here

Will Lucie-Smith

Vehicle Specialist at OSV Ltd
Will enjoys: Socializing with friends, driving fast cars

Will is a positive force in the office. He's always smiling no matter the situation, and he prides himself on providing a cheerful, knowledgeable service.
Will Lucie-Smith

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  • 22nd August 2016

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