Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are gaining in popularity, and for good reason: drivers who switch to these vehicles can anticipate a variety of environmental and economical benefits.
Pros and Cons of Hybrid Cars
However, hybrid automobiles are not ideal for everyone’s commute; here are some benefits and downsides to consider when considering whether a hybrid vehicle is good for you.
Pros and cons of hybrid cars summarized
Among the advantages of owning a hybrid vehicle are:
- They are environmentally conscious.
- You save money They’re silent
- They frequently require less upkeep
Among the disadvantages of owning a hybrid vehicle are:
- higher initial expenses
- Maintenance can be costly (when required).
- They continue to create fossil fuel emissions.
Continue reading to see each of these issues explained in further depth.
Pros of hybrid cars
Hybrid cars are environmentally friendly (compared to gasoline-powered cars)
The use of gasoline-powered vehicles has numerous negative environmental effects, including the emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases directly from their tailpipes.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), an average passenger vehicle emits 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually, in addition to other pollutants such as methane and nitrous oxide – all of which are greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming.
Even before the gasoline reaches your engine, there are environmental expenses associated with extracting the fuel for use as energy.
With hybrid vehicles, you can choose between gasoline and electricity as a fuel source.
If you operate your hybrid car only on gasoline, you will still produce greenhouse gases from your tailpipe, but at a lower rate than with gasoline-only vehicles because hybrids are more fuel-efficient — some hybrids can achieve over 50 miles per gallon! This means that you will consume less fuel to drive the same distance, resulting in less pollution.
However, if you purchase a hybrid or plug-in hybrid, it is likely that you will also use energy to power your vehicle. As a result, there will be no direct tailpipe emissions.
However, the environmental friendliness of your commute in a hybrid vehicle will vary depending on where your electricity originates from: while renewable energy sources produce a growing share of the nation’s electricity, fossil fuels continue to create the vast majority.
The source of your electricity (i.e., your electricity mix) influences your well-to-wheel emissions, often known as your overall transportation emissions. Check out this interactive tool from the Department of Energy (DOE) if you’re curious about what this implies for you: it displays the annual emissions per vehicle based on a state’s power mix.
You can save money with a hybrid car
With a hybrid vehicle, you may avoid frequent trips to the gas station and excessive costs for refueling thanks to its fuel-efficient engines and ability to use electricity as fuel.
However, it might be difficult to determine how much you can save, as savings are highly dependent on your driving patterns, your dependency on gasoline for energy, your location, and other factors.
Check out Edmund’s “Gas Guzzler” calculator for some numbers: it can help you estimate how much you can save on gas by switching to a hybrid based on your state, the vehicle, and the number of miles you travel.
In addition to fuel savings, the federal government presently grants a tax credit for those who purchase a plug-in hybrid vehicle.
Depending on your tax situation and the vehicle you purchase, this incentive can save you up to $7,500. (Please note that ordinary hybrids do not qualify for this offer.) Check to see if there are any state or local incentives available to further reduce your expenditures before purchasing a hybrid vehicle.
Hybrid cars are quiet
Due to their electric motors, hybrid automobiles are considerably quieter than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. Because of safety concerns, the United States had to adopt legislation requiring hybrids and electric vehicles to produce audible noises when going at specific speeds.
(Author’s note: Have you seen The Office’s episode in which Andy pins Dwight between his fence and his car? He is able to sneak up on him and catch him off surprise because, as Oscar explains, a Toyota Prius is entirely silent when driven at less than five miles per hour.
Hybrid cars often require less maintenance
Because hybrid automobiles have two power sources (the gas engine and the electric motor), the engine experiences less frequent wear and tear.
This typically results in less demand for oil or coolant and lower routine maintenance expenses compared to vehicles with combustion fuel engines. Depending on the sort of hybrid vehicle you own, maintenance expenses can vary, so be sure to do some research on your individual make and model!
You won’t experience “range anxiety” with a hybrid car
One of the greatest disadvantages of all-electric vehicles is “range anxiety,” or the dread of not having enough energy to travel the distance between charging stations, which is exacerbated by the shortage of charging stations in some places.
You don’t have to worry about this with a hybrid vehicle: when the battery runs out of power, the car automatically switches to using the gasoline in the tank, and there are plenty of petrol stations nearby to replenish!
Cons of hybrid cars
Hybrid cars typically cost more upfront
You shouldn’t expect to pay the same amount for every hybrid as you would for a luxury vehicle, but hybrids often cost more to lease or purchase than equivalent gasoline-powered vehicles. This can be offset by fuel savings, and federal subsidies can be of assistance. However, if you decide to move to a hybrid, you will likely have to endure a greater initial cost.
When maintenance is needed, it can be more expensive for hybrid cars
As previously stated, hybrid vehicles often require less routine maintenance than conventional vehicles. However, if maintenance is required, it can be more expensive than with other vehicles, especially if the battery needs to be replaced.
Most hybrid car manufacturers provide a 10-year warranty on their batteries, and many are designed to last more than 150,000 miles. If you need to replace a battery, it can cost over $2,000 to do so.
Hybrid cars are not always as environmentally-friendly as we’d like
The environmental impact of a hybrid depends on how frequently it is powered by gasoline versus electricity, as well as the source of its electricity. Hybrid automobiles are greener than gasoline automobiles, but they tend to have more well-to-wheel emissions than their all-electric counterparts and significantly more emissions than bicycling or walking.
Power your commute with the sun
You may maximize the fuel savings and reduce the emissions of a plug-in hybrid vehicle with a solar panel installation. You may compare up to seven personalized solar quotes from local installers on the EnergySage Marketplace. If you want to purchase an electric vehicle in the near future, please indicate this in your account so that installers can add a few additional panels to charge your vehicle.