Be careful not to overlook these drawbacks of hybrid cars

You can be forgiven for expecting hybrid cars to become the norm in the not too distant future. After all, they are becoming more and more popular – as you can see each time you take to the road.A hybrid car is simply that, a hybrid. It uses two or more engines; usually an electric motor and conventional petrol or diesel engine. The latter powers the car at its highest speeds whilst the electrical engine powers the motor for its lower speeds.

You may be surprised to know that hybrid cars have actually existed since the early 1900’s. However, they have only been introduced into the mainstream market in the past decade or so, after manufacturing costs have dropped – making them realistically affordable to the average driver. Further to this, government and local government incentives support the use of hybrid cars, with many towns and cities using such vehicles for their public transportation systems.

Advantages

Hybrid cars come with a host of advantages. Not only are they environmentally friendly and less dependent on fossil fuels but they also come with a regenerative braking system. The fact that hybrid cars are made from lighter materials also mean they require less energy to run. Hybrid cars also come with a host of financial benefits, including an incentivising higher resale value than traditional cars, in addition to being exempt from vehicle tax.

Disadvantages

Admittedly, while hybrid cars do come with a plethora of very attractive advantages, their drawbacks should not be overlooked.

Whilst hybrid cars do require less energy, owed to their lighter materials, the cost of the actual vehicle itself can be significantly more expensive than a traditional car. In further regards to costs relating to hybrid cars, hybrid car insurance costs differ slightly from those you are used to. Many insurance companies class hybrid cars as sports cars, owing to their similar designs, i.e. smooth hood, lower to the ground, higher gear changes and small frames.

Unsurprisingly, hybrid cars have less power than traditional cars. The combined power of both engines generally uses less than that of a solely diesel or petrol powered engine. This means it is not suited for speed and acceleration and more suited to city driving. So, if you have a lengthy motorway commute to work every day, a hybrid car may not be for you.

Due to that twin engine, hybrid cars have poorer handling compared to that of a normal car. The electrical engine may be light, but, with the added weight of a gas-powered engine and a pack of powerful batteries, space in the car is quickly consumed. This extra weight causes fuel inefficiency, meaning manufacturers cut down weight, substituting battery size for less support in the suspension and body.

The presence of those high voltage batteries carries added risk in the event of an accident. The high voltage present inside the batteriess means there is a chance of being electrocuted, also making it more difficult for rescuers to access the vehicle.

Hybrid cars also come with additional maintenance costs thanks to that dual engine. Continuous improvements in the technology make it difficult for mechanics to repair the car, meaning it may be difficult for you to find a mechanic or vehicle tracking software with such expertise.

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