CTV.ca busts eight myths about hybrids ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: CTV.ca busts eight myths about hybrids

Saturday, November 26, 2005

CTV.ca busts eight myths about hybrids

Myth #1: I will save a lot of money by driving a hybrid car
Costs at the pump will not save you the difference in the cost of the car. Add in extra for insurance and tax, and you will still be paying more. Don't forget tax credits and savings for buying a hybrid, but that depends on where you live. Most gas savings will occur for urban driving.

Myth #2: Hybrid cars have remarkable fuel economy
True and false. In urban settings, a lot of the wasted fuel spent idling at stop lights is saved, since the engine turns off. But in hard accelerating situations, such as speeding up to merge on the highway, the gas engine kicks in and your gas savings will be nill. Full hybrids will save on gas by running the electric motor in light running condtions.

Myth #3: Hybrids cause more environmental damage than they are suppose to cure
False. The batteries may be made of heavy metals, but 1) the mining and smelting of such is not necessarily outweighed by the emissions of a normal car and 2) the batteries are designed to last the life of the car at which point the various carmakers have a battery recycling program.

Myth #4: It's more expensive to maintain a hybrid
False. Since all hybrid components are designed to last the lifetime of the car, you shouldn't have to replace the battery unless the car is totaled. The brakes on a hybrid should last longer than on a normal car, as well. The only issue may be in finding someone to service the engine, as all mechanics may not be up to code in training

Myth #5: You need to plug your car in an outlet to recharge the batteries in your hybrid every night
False. Energy is restored to the battery by braking or by the engine. There's never any need to 'plug and play'.

Myth #6: Hybrid cars don't perform as well as their conventional counterparts
True and False. It all depends on the vehicle nowadays. The Honda Civic hybrid, for instance, has less get up and go than it's counterpart. But the Toyota Highlander Hybrid actually has more horsepower than it's SUV mate.

Myth #7: Hybrids are unsafe
False. Hybrid technology has no effect whatsoever on the safety rating of a vehicle.

Myth #8: Hybrids are the wave of the future
Unsure at this point. There are many alternative fuel vehicles coming out on the market these days. Diesel, fuel cell, and hybrids all have a shot at being the technology of tomorrow becoming the commonplace of today. It all depends on the marketplace, and what comes out of the labs of carmakers tomorrow.

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