In the recent past, automobile industry has seen a number of changes, especially in the mode of propulsion. The hybrid and electric car is seemingly the next level in the automobile industry. With the good reception and acceptance this technology is getting in the market, it has no option but to pay back the consumers with service and perfection, and it seems to be doing exactly that.
Hybrids work best in the city… and many on the highway too
While the diesels we covered the other day are at their best in highway driving, many find the opposite to be true with hybrids.
With an electric motor to deal with low-speed driving, some hybrids can spend large amounts of time using no gasoline at all, in the city. Not every hybrid can do this–mild hybrids like those from GM and Honda can’t run entirely on electricity, for example–but even then, the assistance of an electric motor means you’ll use far less gasoline getting about than in an equivalent non-hybrid.
No, you won’t have to keep replacing the batteries
Is this myth still floating about? Unfortunately so–many people think that buying a hybrid new, let alone second or third-hand, means you’ll soon be paying half the value of the car to replace the batteries.
That simply isn’t the case. Not only do hybrid batteries last an inordinately long time in most cases–even under duress, like those in New York taxis–but they no longer cost the earth to replace if the car is in your tenure by the time its battery needs replacing.
They’re really easy to drive
One of the things many people enjoy about hybrids is how easy they are to drive. Just because there’s plenty of complication under the hood, it doesn’t mean you’ll need a quantum physics degree to operate them. The vast majority use automatic transmissions for a start, and some–like those from Toyota or Lexus–don’t even trouble you with gears, instead using seamless continuously-variable transmissions.
Automobile enthusiasts have been used to the gas powered cars, and now here come the hybrid class which is apparently swiftly switching into the electric powered type. The craze to purchase the new arrivals is high, but many questions remain unsolved. The most confusing of all is how energy costly are the new forms compared to the former gas powered cars.
It seems like the cost is about the same, but you’ve got to dig into the math more: on a full charge, a Nissan Leaf will travel about 100 miles (160.9 kilometers). On one gallon of gas, a Nissan Versa will go about 30 miles (48.3 kilometers). Covering 100 miles (160.9 kilometers) in the Versa will cost about $9.00.
Most electric cars also let you save by choosing when they charge. You can set the Versa, as well as plug-in hybrids from Ford and other automakers, to charge only during off-peak hours, bringing down your electricity costs. And, though an in-home charging station for the Leaf costs about $2,000, the EPA estimates that a Nissan Versa will cost $1,359 per year in gas. So, in a little over 18 months, the savings on the Leaf should pay for the charging system.
These numbers don’t take into account insurance and maintenance costs, but the costs of running an electric car electric car — just getting the energy required to move it down the road — looks a lot lower than the cost to run a conventional car.
Hybrid cars are in no doubt here to stay, may be to get even better and more dominant as time goes by. However, these are not the perfect form we can ever have. They are environment friendly, that is okay, they are fast and may be more convenient, that is right, but they also have their flaws anyway.
Moving outside the premium car segment, the biggest issue with this concomitant price increase associated with hybrid cars has to do with the length of time it will take to make up the cost difference between a hybrid and its compact equivalent. Yes, a vehicle like the Toyota Prius delivers an exceptional 50-mpg combined, but when a Ford Focus can offer 31-mpg combined and cost $6,000 less, the number of years of regular driving – at current fuel prices – before that price gap is made up can become substantial.
Gasoline / electric drivetrains usually tip the scales heavier than their gas-only counterparts, due to the fact that an electric motor, battery pack, regenerative braking system, and associated cooling systems are all part and parcel of the hybrid design. Battery packs especially can add significant weight to an automobile, which is why they are mounted as low as possible in order to preserve the vehicle’s center of gravity. Unfortunately the more performance a hybrid car offers, the larger its battery pack, which means that increasing output to deal with additional mass of takes a weight toll of its own.
Unfortunately, most parts of the country are still waiting for the infrastructure necessary to accommodate the charging needs of plug-in buyers, which means that if you live outside of a big city you might want to wait for reality to catch up with PHEV technology before plunking down your hard-earned cash on one of these models.