Pros and cons of hybrid cars ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: Pros and cons of hybrid cars

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Pros and cons of hybrid cars

Hybrid cars can be very beneficial to car drivers everywhere, but they, like every technology, have their own problems that we the consumer should be aware of. So, let's go over the pros and cons of hybrid cars.

Higher mpg
Saving money on gas is a possibility for hybrid car owners. Even mild hybrid trucks who improve their mileage from 17 to 19 mpg have made a difference. And if you start talking about getting 50 or 60 mpg, you are really beginning to save money on gas. At the same time, you are making a difference in the dependence we all have on oil and its byproducts. Also, you may just hate going to the pump so often.

Less Pollution
Hybrid cars have lower pollution levels than other cars. When running on their electric motors, hybrid engines are not putting out any of the pollutants we worry about when it comes gas engines. As ranked by American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, 3 of the top 12 'Greenest Cars' were hybrid cars.

Better Performance
Hybrid cars can be designed for power, rather than economy. The Honda Accord Hybrid and the Lexus GS450h are good examples of 'performance' hybrids. The electric engine is used to boost the power performance of the gas engine at lower speeds, rather than replacing it.

Hybrid cars can get better than the EPA rating for mileage. Unlike gas engines, the hybrid is capable of exceeding the EPA rating for mileage on a regular basis with a few simple changes to your driving patterns. These techniques are called hypermiling and allowed a group to get over 100 mpg in a long distance trial of a Toyota Prius.

Tax Breaks
The federal government is offering up to $3400 in a tax credit for those who buy a hybrid car this year. Mind, that's only for the first 60,000 qualifying cars by each manufacturer, so if you're looking to buy a Toyota hybrid and you want to get that tax break, you should buy one this year. Several states are also offering tax breaks to consumers who purchase hybrid cars.

Local Perks
Some states offer HOV access (Virginia and California) to drivers of hybrid cars. Some localities even offer free parking. Some states are looking into tax breaks or may already offer them. Some companies offer money to those who go hybrid. So you should look around for your local perks (Illinois, Pennsylvania, Missouri, etc...)

Hybrid Batteries
There are concerns about hybrid batteries. Most of those center around how long they will last and how expensive they are to replace and are these bigger nickel metal hydrid batteries bad for the environment? The truth is these bigger batteries are supposed to be recycled, just as the lead batteries in gas only cars are supposed to be. Also, the batteries are being guaranteed for 8 year (10 if you are in California). But they are very expensive to replace if you do need to do so. A bill for several thousand dollars would come your way if it dies and its not under warantee.

If you are in an accident with a hybrid car, is that bigger battery a possible danger? High voltage electricy can be dangerous, but manufacturers are making these batteries shut down in an accident. But things can go wrong, which is why some emergency crews are getting special training relating to hybrid car accidents. But otherwise, these cars are just as safe as their counterparts.

Saving on gas is not enough to make up for a huge initial cost, i.e. the purchase price. When the manufacturer prices the hybrid $3000 more than its gas only counterpart, its hard to justify the initial layout of money. According to a recent study of hybrid cars by Consumer Reports, only two of the six hybrids studied made up for their initial cost (Prius and Civic) in the first five years of ownership. And they did take into account the federal tax credit being offered, (although not the local ones).

Also, you may want to keep in mind that repair costs may be more. Although hybrid cars have been reported to be extremely reliable, if something goes wrong with the electric engine or the 'hybrid' part of the car, you will probably need to take it to your local dealer, who usually charges more for repairs. Of course, this is true whenever a major 'system' in a car goes kaput. On the other hand, some basic maintenance will cost less. For instance, you won't have to change the oil as often.

Just like buying any other car, you need to look into what your needs are and why you are buying it. Did you want a bigger car? Or how about better fuel efficiency or perhaps pollution is your biggest issue? Is price the most important thing? Or how about quality of manufacturing? Hybrids have their own issues, but what it always comes down to when buying an auto is personal choice.

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Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Finally, a good pros and cons about hybrids!
Thank you!

Anonymous said...

i'm doing a project on hybrids, and this helped me so much!

Unknown said...

I'm glad I could help

Anonymous said...

yo mike i need your name for my bibliography just your last and the year you wrote this

Unknown said...

Hello Andre. My name is Michael Doherty and I wrote this back in 2006. You can see the date at the top.

Anonymous said...

this was very helpful thanks so much

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

thanx i am doing progect on hybrids

Anonymous said...

thanks that was helpful

Anonymous said...

great !

Anonymous said...

hey mike how much energy do hybrids save

Unknown said...

What kind of energy? Are you talking about over the life of a car? Gas energy? And compared to what?

luke said...

this web cite is very helpful for reaserch and if sombody who was looking to buy a hybrid car

Unknown said...

I'm glad you liked it. Tell your friends! ;-)

Anonymous said...

im also doing a project on them

Anonymous said...

this is very helpful thanx

Anonymous said...

i luv u
u just saved my life and my project


Anonymous said...

thx dude helped alot

Anonymous said...

thanks for helping with my project i love u

Rachel said...

finally a good pros and cons list!!! i am doing a project in my class, and this helped a bunch thanks!

Anonymous said...

this article help me to graduate
thanks dude

Kylar said...

You just saved my project. Thank you so much.

Anonymous said...

i am doing a research essay on Hybrid cars Pros and Cons, and this list was so helpful.

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for this. I feel very confident in my essay because of this list.

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