Automobiles have changed dramatically since they were first introduced. Most people don’t know this, but the original automobile was not powered by a gas engine. It was powered by a steam engine and appeared in the 18th century. Automobiles would evolve to include the gas-powered combustion engine that we are familiar with today, but there is yet another type of automobile on the horizon. This type of vehicle is called a “hybrid.”
Gas, oil prices and concerns for the environment have forced people to search for alternative ways to power cars. Thus, the hybrid was born. People all over the planet are quickly adopting hybrid cars in favor of the old gas guzzlers, but is a hybrid right for you?
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What is a hybrid?
Before you decide if a hybrid is right for you, it will help to have a good understanding of exactly what a hybrid car is. A hybrid car has two very different engines; the two motors work jointly. This allows the use of a smaller gas-powered motor. During urban driving situations, the electric motor is alone enough to get the car moving. However, when it comes to highway driving, the gas-powered motor kicks in to give the vehicle the extra power that it needs to keep up with the crowd. It sounds simple, but hybrids are much more complex.
What about the cost?
Hybrid vehicles are marketed as money-saving vehicles. For the most part this is 100 percent true. Driving any type of hybrid will cost you less. The average gas mileage of these cars is right around 55 miles to the gallon. Compare that to some of the gas guzzlers that get 12 miles to the gallon and the savings will add up, but the initial purchase price of these futuristic vehicles will cost a bit more. The most common hybrid models will cost over $3000 more than a comparable non-hybrid vehicle. It will take a lot of driving miles to recoup the initial extra expense of a Hybrid car.
If you spend all of your time behind the wheel fighting traffic in a big city, then a hybrid may be the smart choice. If you travel long distances on highways or interstates, a Hybrid may not be the best choice.
What will I be saving on gas?
There is no doubt that the moment a Hybrid vehicle is driven off the lot, there will be an instant savings on fuel. Better mileage will equate to fewer stops at the gas station; it also equates to less money spent on gas. There are other vehicles that might save on fuel as well. Diesel-powered vehicles and turbo diesels are also getting enviable gas mileage. Still it’s not quite as good as a hybrid and some turbo diesel models have a much higher price tag than a Hybrid.
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How am I helping the planet?
If the chief reason that you are thinking about purchasing a hybrid is to help do your part to reduce emissions, then a hybrid makes an excellent choice. Hybrids don’t produce nearly as much greenhouse gases as the traditional cars of today. Here is a quick comparison: SUVs that are blocking driveways and interstates all over the United States will produce approximately 22,000 pounds of harmful gases in a year. A sedan will only produce around 9,500 pounds of harmful gases in a year. The average hybrid, though, will produce just under 7,000 pounds of dangerous gases in a year. The only vehicle that is any better in this department is a fully electric-powered car.
And those repair costs?
No one likes to think about auto repairs, but they must be considered. Hybrid cars are much more technologically advanced. There are several different computers inside a Hybrid car and replacing these computers can get quite expensive. There is a lot more going on under the hood of a hybrid and unfortunately this new technology is far from perfect. On average, hybrids break down more often and they are more expensive to repair.
Do hybrids have a better resale value?
Every type of car will drop in value as soon as it is driven off the lot, but some people want to know if hybrids are retaining more value than their gas-powered counterparts. On average, a hybrid will not have as high of a resale value. However, as demand for gasoline increases, the value of a hybrid may increase too.”It can be difficult deciding whether or not a hybrid is right for you. Keep all of these points in mind if you are considering purchasing a new Hybrid; remember that they require different needs from their counterparts, whether it is the type of discount auto parts or gasoline or whatever else.
About the Author
Mike Brown is a contributing author who is quite the car enthusiast. His love for automobiles began with his first car and it continues today. He uses the dealer alternative for car accessories on all his cars.