Hybrid cars are a subclass of electric vehicles. By definition, these cars run on two power sources – fossil fuels and electricity. There are two types: Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). HEVs have smaller batteries which recharge using a process called ‘regenerative breaking.’ The kinetic energy of the wheels is used to recharge the batteries while breaking, bringing the car to a halt. These batteries allow the car to run on electricity at slower speeds. PHEVs feature larger batteries which can be recharged using an electrical output. Both these vehicles shift to petrol/gas for longer distances or faster speeds.
Hybrid vehicles have become fairly common over the past few years. More people are opting for these cars and with good reason too. These cars, in short, simply have much more to offer than conventional vehicles.
Here are some of their best features.
As hybrid cars don’t exclusively run on petrol or gas, their fuel consumption is lower than their conventional counterparts. This is because the regenerative braking mechanism that recharges the battery makes it possible for these cars to run solely on electricity for slower speeds. The PHEVs have larger batteries and are even more fuel efficient.
Moreover, hybrid cars are built from lightweight materials. This means that the load on the engine is reduced and the gasoline required to run the car is minimal. These attributes make it possible for HEVs to have an outstanding mileage, reaching over 50 mpg. Furthermore, the car’s engine shuts down when it comes to a stop, conserving even more fuel. The engine simply restarts when the accelerator is pressed. Reduced fuel consumption translates to more money saved thus making these cars cheaper to run.
While hybrid cars are not zero emission cars like all electric vehicles, they don’t burn as much fuel as conventional vehicles, and this makes them safer for the environment. These cars also shut down when idle, which means that they don’t release any emissions while you’re stuck in a traffic jam.
Air pollution is a serious problem that can cause environmental damage such as global warming and acid rain. It also has serious health hazards that range from acute respiratory problems to chronic multi-systemic problems involving the cardiovascular system, nervous system and the kidneys among others. These cars help decrease air pollution, especially in urban areas. With a decline in air pollution, we take a step towards a cleaner and greener future where the problems above are diminished.
Reduced Dependency on Fossil Fuels:
Because of their electric capabilities, HEVs are not as dependent on fossil fuels for power as standard non-electric cars. Currently, around one-fourth of fossil fuels are consumed just for transport. This is a waste given that these resources have significantly more important uses such as those in industry, medicine, etc. HEVs play a role in the conservation of non-renewable resources such as petroleum and diesel.
These materials can thus be spared for other uses or, more vitally, preserved for future generations. You are less reliant on volatile gas prices, making HEVs easier on your pocket. Not only that, as the demand for these fuels decreases, their value goes down, keeping gas prices in check.
HEVs have built-in sensors that can detect the amount of fuel being consumed in relation to the acceleration of the car. These give indications to the driver, in real time, to help him maximize the efficiency of the vehicle. It tells you what accelerations can be achieved using just the electric capabilities of the car thus helping to maximize the car’s mileage. This innovative system actively rewards slow driving in a way that is meaningful to the driver. This helps you become a more responsible driver. Over time, with a higher ratio of these cars present in normal traffic, roads are bound to get much safer.
High Resale Value:
When we buy any car, one of the main things we have to consider is its resale value. Hybrid vehicles are great in this regard. While most conventional cars sharply lose their value over time, HEVs tend to hold their price. The simple reason is that those who buy these cars generally don’t want to sell them! These cars are extremely durable compared to others as they are built from superior materials. They also save fuel costs due to their better efficiency making them a long-term investment for the buyer. As gasoline prices around the world increase, more and more people want to make the switch to hybrid cars. This means there is a much lower supply of HEVs in the market than the demand and this drives resale prices higher. If you ever decide to sell your hybrid car, you are sure to get a good price for it.
These are just a select few of the several features that HEVs offer. Maybe that is why these vehicles are fast becoming mainstream. So, what are you thinking about? Trade in your old car for a hybrid and embrace the future!