Hybrid cars have come a long way since they first hit the roads more than a decade ago. Nowadays, there are many car manufacturers who are offering their own versions of the once elusive hybrid car. This can be both good and bad news for the potential buyer, mainly because, all hybrid cars are not equal in terms of performance and efficiency. Keeping that in mind, this guide should help you make the right choice when getting the right hybrid vehicle.
Types of Hybrid Cars
Before you make a choice in terms of the hybrid car you are going to purchase, you need to first get familiar with the different types of electrification of the hybrid cars. As the name implies, a hybrid car uses more than one source of energy. While having a hybrid car means having a vehicle that has a gasoline internal combustion engine and an electric motor. But, that’s not all.
The following are some of the different types of hybrid cars:
• Series Hybrid — These are the cars that work on a gas-powered engine which drives a generator to charge the batteries of an electric motor.
• Full Hybrid — In this type of hybrid car, the electric motor has enough power to start the car and take it into full speed.
• Mixed Hybrid – This is the most seen type of hybrid cars on the roads today. In the mixed hybrid, the gas engine is able to generate enough electricity to power the car.
• Parallel Hybrid — In this type of hybrid, both the motor and the engine drives the wheels.
• Plug-in Hybrid — This is the next generation of hybrid car technology and runs on a large battery that can be recharged by connecting them to an electrical outlet, which is very different to normal hybrids that do not need to be plugged in.
It is important to conduct your own research on the different types of hybrid cars and their fuel consumption to find out which hybrids are the most fuel efficient.
Overall Cost of the Hybrid Car
The overall cost of the hybrid car is going to depend on many factors depending on the manufacturer and the features that have been included. While the initial cost of a hybrid car is going to be a bit higher as compared to regular cars, because it takes more to make a hybrid vehicle, it is possible for you to get hybrid cars at the best prices. Rather than going to the traditional brick and mortar auto dealer in your area, going online offers many more options and the ability to compare prices from different auto dealers in your area.
While there are many options to choose from nowadays when it comes to hybrid vehicles, such as the Honda CR-Z, Toyota Camry hybrid, Kia Optima hybrid, Chevrolet Volt, Lincoln MKZ hybrid, Ford Fusion hybrid and so on. It is important to note that the cost of hybrid cars varies depending on various factors, such as the engine and electric motor technology, fuel-efficiency, battery technology, and many other factors.
Another rule of thumb when purchasing a hybrid car is to make sure you do not go with a car that’s more than a decade old for obvious reasons. This is mainly because hybrid cars are powered by large electric engines that use large battery packs. The lifespan of these batteries is around 10 years, which means you will solely be responsible for getting a new battery pack for the car since most manufacturer warranties are only given for 8 to 10 years.
Vehicle History and Maintenance Report
When going for a used hybrid car its best to ask for a detailed vehicle history and maintenance report. This is mainly because since a hybrid car has two engines, they are more complex as compared to single-engine vehicles. This also means that hybrid cars require more maintenance and upkeep. The maintenance of hybrid cars involves the use of specific oils and regular servicing of their components and electrical system.
Depending on how long a hybrid vehicle has been sitting on the lot, some performance issues may arise if the car dealer has not carried out the proper maintenance and upkeep. This is the main reason why those who are looking to invest in a used hybrid car need to ask for the full history and maintenance report of the car before making the purchase. The same can be said when purchasing the car from a private seller.
The detailed vehicle maintenance report will provide you with the information you need regarding the car’s maintenance schedule and whether or not it was followed. Also, the report will include information regarding any past repairs that were carried out on the car along with other crucial information that will give you an idea of what to expect in terms of performance. In fact, not being able to provide a vehicle history or maintenance report for the hybrid car should be the first red flag whether dealing with an auto dealer or a private seller.
Get a Second Opinion
Needless to say, a hybrid car is a lot different than a regular gasoline car. The auto dealer or private seller should agree to take the hybrid car to a specialized hybrid service station to get it thoroughly inspected before the purchase. Hybrid cars use a combination of a gas-powered engine and an electric motor and battery. These components are integrated with the help of a computer that controls various aspects of the hybrid vehicle such as the electric motor and the regenerative brakes. Getting the car to a hybrid car service shop will ensure that this critical system is fully functional.
One of the major reasons why many people are looking towards hybrid cars is simply because they are much more efficient than their gasoline-guzzling counterparts. A hybrid car features a gasoline engine and an electric motor along with a battery pack. This means that the hybrid has the ability to switch between power sources without giving up the practicality of having a gas-powered vehicle. Needless to say, a hybrid car is going to cost more as compared to a gasoline-fueled one, but it makes up for the high price in terms of fuel efficiency over the long term.