Authored by Rodney Southern in Automotive
Published on 01-11-2009
The benefits of hybrid cars are myriad, both for the individual who owns one and the environment. While hybrid cars can be more expensive than ordinary cars fueled solely by gasoline, they pay off in the long run for the consumer and the earth.
One of the most obvious benefits of hybrid cars is that they use less gasoline than ordinary cars. Hybrid car owners get more miles to the gallon, which means less expense for the owner, fewer natural resources used up, and less reliance on foreign fuel sources. If everyone switched to hybrid cars we could reduce fuel consumption in the United States by 20 percent, which is a highly significant amount.
The benefits of hybrid cars aren’t just apparent when you compare them to gas powered cars, though. Hybrid cars are superior to electric-powered cars in some ways as well. Having two engines makes the car more reliable than a purely battery-operated car. The gas engine charges the battery engine so you don’t need to plug in a hybrid car the way you would with a purely electric car. In addition, the gas engine works better on the highway, while the battery engine works better in stop-and-go traffic, so a car with both engines works better all around. Finally, a purely electric-powered car cannot go at high speeds, which is sometimes necessary during long-distance travel. This is one of the most important benefits of hybrid cars when compared to electric cars.
Another of the benefits of hybrid cars is the impact on the environment. Use of hybrid cars will reduce both air pollution and noise pollution significantly.
Some benefits of hybrid cars that you might not have considered are government and private sector incentives. Federal and state tax credits for hybrid car owners, the ability for solo drivers of hybrid cars to ride in HOV lanes, auto insurance companies reducing premiums on hybrid cars, and private companies like Google offering employees incentives to purchase hybrid cars have all been seen in recent years.
There are some benefits to hybrid cars with regards to maintenance as well. For example, many hybrid cars are equipped with regenerative breaking, which causes less wear than ordinary braking and therefore the brake pads need to be replaced less often. In addition, when the electric motor on a hybrid car is running, the gas motor shuts down, meaning less wear over time on the gas motor parts.
When reading about the benefits to hybrid cars, it becomes obvious why they’re becoming more and more popular, especially if you keep the recent gas crisis in mind. The hybrid car presents the best of both worlds and people who are concerned about the environment or reliance on foreign fuels but have practical considerations that make an electric car out of the question would do well to investigate hybrid cars.