There have been many new urban myths created around hybrid cars but, for the most part, they tend to be faster, tougher and longer-lasting than most people give them credit for. If you’re in the market for a new car and you’re considering a hybrid, we’ve put together a blog for you that goes over some of the best hybrid car benefits that you may not know about, as well as one surprising drawback all of them seem to have. We hope that they help make your car buying decision easier. Enjoy.
Many people believe that hybrid cars aren’t fast but the fact is, most were designed by simply adding one (and sometimes more) electric motors to a car’s standard drivetrain, something that resulted in multi-engine power. Indeed, car and driver magazine found that the 2011 Lexus RX450h hybrid was faster than Lexus is non-hybrid model.
The average hybrid car has an anti-freeze storage device on board that’s similar to an insulated cooler, something that can keep the antifreeze warm for several days. What this does is make for easier starts, lowered emissions and also faster heating of the car’s interior. (You’ll hear the antifreeze being pumped into the container when you shut off your car.)
Hybrid cars also don’t have nearly as big a problem climbing steep hills as most people believe. One of the reasons is that, when you are accelerating a hybrid uphill, it will shift to its lowest gear and instantly get nearly 100% of any power that’s available. Also, since their engine’s use no oxygen, electric motors are immune to the thin air problems that some cars have at a high altitude.
In practically every major metropolitan area in the United States you are required to bring your automobile in for emissions inspections. Since hybrid cars have no emissions, in most states there is no need for this time-consuming task.
Hybrids also use something called regenerative braking which not only saves wear and tear on their traditional brakes but also generates electricity for use in the car. When you consider that it’s approximately $500 to resurface a typical car’s brakes and replace its pads, lower brake wear is definitely a plus.
Hybrid electric cars come with expensive hybrid batteries and many people have questions as to their lifespan. In a recent issue of Consumer Reports magazine they found that this wasn’t a concern as hybrids with 200 and even 300,000 miles still had batteries that performed like new. That’s a darn good thing too because the batteries in most hybrids cost about $5000.
A hybrid car will need oil changes less frequently and also will need less maintenance. The reason is that, when coasting downhill, decelerating or coming to a stop, a hybrid car’s gas engine will turn itself off completely. This not only will reduce the amount of gasoline that’s being used but will also reduce the wear on a its engine. Toyota recommends changing the oil in their Prius hybrids every 5000 miles, a number that is much higher than the average car and means you’ll spend less money on oil changes as well.
Interestingly, hybrids seem to have one problem common among all of them. All hybrid automobiles have a conventional low-voltage battery in them that powers most of the accessories and also starts the engine. What this means is that, if you leave a light on or forget to turn off the radio, you may find that your hybrid car and its very expensive hybrid battery are unable to start in the morning. Many hybrid owners are purchasing aftermarket replacements for these batteries so that they don’t have this problem.
At the end of the day hybrid cars certainly get amazing mileage out of every single gallon of gas. Besides the high sticker price that some of them carry, there are very few other drawbacks and more than enough benefits to make them a compelling argument when you’re thinking of purchasing a new automobile.