If you’re in the market for a new car, you might have one eye on the hybrid market. The astonishing rise of electric and hybrid cars have taken some manufacturers by surprise. Who would have thought the humble Toyota Prius would set the precedent for the future? Having said that, there’s still an air of uncertainty around these electric vehicles. Are they actually practical? Do they provide value for money? In this post, we take a look at the issue, and assess each one in turn.
Impact on the planet
There’s no ignoring the fact that hybrid cars have a positive impact on the planet. It drastically reduces our reliance on traditional fuels such as petrol and diesel. That means more natural minerals stay in the ground, and less emissions through the exhaust. If everyone switched to electric cars, we would make a serious and compelling dent in emissions. That, in turn, helps protect the ozone layer, which will slow the effect of global warming. It’s a small gesture you can make.
Cheap to run
Of course, there are benefits to the driver too. You’ll enjoy a much lower fuel bill when you purchase an electric car. Even a hybrid vehicle, with a petrol backup engine, uses significantly less fuel. The savings don’t end there. By purchasing an electric vehicle, you’re entitled to certain tax breaks from the government. Many electric and hybrid cars qualify for zero road tax. Not only will your fuel bill come down, you’ll pay no road tax whatsoever.
In the past, hybrid cars were labelled unpractical. They could only drive a short amount of miles before the electric engine ran out of juice. The initial Toyota Prius struggled to crawl 20 miles on its electric engine. Nowadays, that figure has soared, and cars will travel much further on their electric motor. As for EV chargers and electric points, the infrastructure has grown significantly. There are more charging stations around the country, and many are chargeable at home.
Speed and power
In the end, the petrolhead will always argue that hybrids are slow and powerful. This statement is entirely incorrect. Did you know, for example, that the fastest car around the Nurburgring is a hybrid? Yep, the Porsche 918 Spyder set the fastest lap time last year, and it has a hybrid engine. The McLaren P1 has also shown its fierce speed on the track. Combining electrics and traditional engines can increase output. We are just at the very beginning of what hybrid and electric power can do. But rest assured, speed and power is there for the taking.
One of the biggest costs of running a car is the regular repair bills. Traditional cars need an annual health check, and many trips to the garage in between. They also need regular engine checks from you, the driver. Electric cars, however, are much more reliable. They have a simple electric system that fails less often than a traditional car. If there is a problem, it is quickly diagnosed by plugging it into a computer. Simple.
As you can see, there are a variety of reasons to consider a hybrid or electric car. Would you choose one?
Electric cars needn’t be boring (image source)