I’m sure you can remember when the theory of an electric or partly electric car sounded like something from science fiction. Now, hybrid tech can be found in pretty much any class of vehicle, and the whole auto industry is feeling the impact of it. Whether you want to save the environment, save yourself some money, or you’re just curious, you may be considering getting a hybrid as your next car. If this is the case, here are some of the pros and cons that you have to be aware of.
As you already know, one of the main selling points of hybrid cars is that they’re much greener. Because hybrid models operate on a combination of gas and electricity, they cause far less pollution than conventional cars. This may be enough of a reason in itself for some people, but there’s another side to it. Because of the environmental implications, the government offers various federal tax credits for hybrids using plug-in technology. You may be able to get a significant rebate depending on the state you live in, too.
Regenerative braking is another big advantage that you can’t get with conventional gas-only vehicles. In hybrid cars, a lot of the energy that you produce through braking is fed straight back into the battery. This means that the electric motor in the car can run for longer without charge, and in turn reduce your fuel consumption. It’s also been found to increase the lifespan of your brakes in some models.
One of the lesser-known selling points of hybrid cars is that their depreciation is way less damaging than your average car. You may have fallen head-over-heels in love with a car in the past, and decided against getting it because of the terrible resale value. With hybrid cars, this isn’t an issue! Many hybrid models still fetch a great price on the used car market.
One of the major cons tied to hybrid cars is that their maintenance needs are a little more complicated. By and large, any piece of maintenance on a hybrid model is going to cost more than the same procedure on a gas-only vehicle. Furthermore, many auto repair shops lack the stock and expertise to fix hybrids. Having said that, there are still specialized outlets like First Landing Autocare which deal with hybrid repairs.
Another thing which turns a lot of people off of buying a hybrid is the performance. In general, hybrids are built for fuel economy, not speed or pleasure. You’re not going to find a hybrid with sport-tuned suspension or gorgeous spoilers; that’s just dead weight to the manufacturers! The handling on some models is notoriously bad as well. A hybrid will certainly get you from A to B, but you may not have much fun in the interim!
Finally, the price. Despite the massive benefits they have for the environment, hybrids are still significantly more expensive than conventional vehicles, even on the used market. However, the gap is steadily closing, and future hybrids are expected to be much more affordable.