What About Hybrid Cars?

If you're looking for models that give greater value for money, what about hybrid cars? As the cost of gas continues to increase, more and more drivers are looking at ways to improve fuel efficiency and save money. Hybrid cars operate using a combination of a traditional gas-fueled combustion engine and an electric motor. With claims of greatly improved gas efficiency, hybrid cars are becoming an attractive proposition for buyers. Here are the pros and cons.

Improved gas efficiency

Hybrid cars generally offer much better gas efficiency than their traditional gas-only counterparts. The technology used in hybrid cars recycles a lot more energy, charging the battery and using its power to run the car at lower, steady speeds. It is worth remembering that some hybrid models can achieve an estimated 40 to 50 miles per gallon, and sometimes more. Hybrid cars present the driver with a real opportunity to save money on gas.

Reduced environmental impact

Hybrid cars produce lower quantities of pollutants and emissions than their gas-powered counterparts. When the electric engine is in use, the combustion engine does not produce any carbon emissions. Manufacturers focus much more on environmentally friendly technology throughout the car, too, with an emphasis on recycled or recyclable parts. Hybrid cars regularly dominate the annual list of "greenest" cars, according to The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy.

Driving perks

The reduced environmental impact of hybrid cars means that both state and federal governments often offer incentives to hybrid drivers in the United States. Legislators have created many tax breaks to hybrid-car buyers in several states, and some states even offer other perks, such as free or discounted parking.

Possibly more expensive

Hybrid cars can be more expensive to run than traditional models. While servicing costs can be reduced (e.g., less reliance on gas means a reduced need to change the oil as often), the initial outlay is often $3,000 to $4,000 more than a gasoline car. The electric battery in a hybrid car is expensive to replace, which means that once the car is past its warranty period, it could be expensive to keep on the road. It can also be much harder and more expensive to find spare parts for a hybrid car.

Lower acceleration

Many consumers want a car that is exhilarating to drive and has plenty of available power. What about hybrid cars? The reality is that if you want rapid acceleration, you may not enjoy driving a hybrid. The performance of hybrid cars continues to improve, and faster models come out every year. Neverthless, the acceleration on most hybrid cars is still comparably slower than that of other models, and may not offer a style of driving suitable to everyone.

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