Buying Your First Hybrid
Hybrid vehicles have been growing in popularity thanks to their reputation of being better for the environment and their great fuel economy. If you’re considering making your first hybrid vehicle purchase, there are a few factors that to keep in mind.
Owning a new hybrid isn’t all great gas mileage and a lower carbon footprint. Maintaining a new hybrid car can be expensive, so it’s important to understand what you’re getting into before signing the final sales contract.
What is A Hybrid Vehicle?
A hybrid vehicle generally uses two different powertrains — typically a gasoline engine along with an electric motor. By working together, they are able to consume less fuel by allowing the gasoline engine to carry less of the load.
Regenerative braking is one of the signature features of a hybrid vehicle. When you apply your brakes, it causes the electric motor to run backwards in order to stop the vehicle. While the motor is in reverse mode, it feeds electricity to the batteries. This system is one of the most unique features of hybrid vehicles on the market today.
Toyota boasts that its new 2016 Prius will get an average of 54 miles per gallon. While some hybrids may get lower mileage than the Prius, the numbers are still much higher than a convention gasoline vehicle.
While you’re getting more bang for your buck at the pump, also know that you’ll get less power from a hybrid than you would a conventional engine. Gasoline engines will accelerate considerably faster and offer more horsepower. Consider this major difference when making your decision.
Maintaining a Hybrid
Possibly the biggest issue related to owning a hybrid vehicle is the cost of maintenance. Replacing a hybrid battery can cost thousands of dollars. Fortunately, car manufacturers usually offer great protection on the hybrid components, so make sure to understand what kind of warranty you’re getting.
When it comes to a hybrid, a good rule of thumb is to go back to your local dealer for repairs. Their mechanics have been trained on the complexity of a hybrid engine and will have special tools for repairs.