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The Pros and Cons of Hybrid Cars

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Authored by Jayant Row in Automotive
Published on 04-17-2009

A hybrid car is an eco friendly car because it saves gas and has fewer emissions than the standard car. The ideal would be an electric car that has no emissions and the ability to go a couple of hundred miles before recharging, but that is not yet a reality.

Pros

Hybrid cars give you at least 20 to 25 percent more mileage. Because of the latest technologies employed a hybrid car is a high efficiency car, does its bit to mitigate the country’s oil problem and is something different.

The hybrid cars save gas by shutting down some cylinders when you are coasting, and also by driving short distances on battery power alone. The engines are generally directly coupled to the wheels without any intervening torque converter. You can save as much as $2500 over the life of the car in fuel alone.

Hybrid cars are fuel efficient and specifically built to be environment friendly. Emissions are reduced by 30 percent. A hybrid car has the same maintenance problem as a conventional car and does not require any special or costly intervention as the mechanical and electrical systems are the same as in conventional cars.

Cons

In reality because of city driving conditions the ultimate saving in gas bills may be only 10 to 15 percent. So if reduced fuel costs are your main reason to buy that hybrid car then you better think again. A hybrid car may cost you between 20000 to 25000 dollars, much more than a conventional one. But some states have started subsidizing these car and insurance companies have even started offering discounts on such car which could ultimately neutralize that extra cost.

If your driving habits make you a jump start driver, a hybrid car is not the one for you. That method of driving is a waste even in a conventional car and definitely in a hybrid one. So a hybrid car will not overcome any problems you have just because you are a poor and insensitive driver.

The fact that the hybrid car has in effect two motors, ancillary systems, batteries and computers to make the constant shifting between motors a smooth affair does add to the maintenance problems that it can have. And because these systems are new garages do tend to charge you a bit more, even though this is not really justified.

All said and done the hybrid car has still to establish itself as the car for everyone. This is probably because the novelty has kept the costs high and unless these are driven down by market forces, this high cost could deter it from becoming the car of popular choice. Fortunately a lot of states are legislating to help hybrid and fuel efficient cars, with incentives and tax benefits and once these become substantial sales of these cars should take off, automatically reducing prices because of the greater production volumes. Further research into electric cars and battery technology can also help the technology for hybrid cars, and increase mileage figures so that buying a hybrid car becomes the norm and not the exception.

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