In this guide, we’ve put together a list of some of the pros and cons of hybrid cars.
It could be useful in helping to compare hybrid cars against traditional gasoline cars and other types of vehicles, like electric cars or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
Summary – Pros & Cons Of Hybrid Cars
There’s several types of hybrids available – plug in, and non plug in
Can be cheaper to run and more fuel efficient compared to other types of vehicles
Technology is progressing steadily and improving
Reporting system is intuitive
Prices are getting more competitive
Easy to re-fuel
Standard hybrids are quick to re-fuel
There’s many gas stations available for pure hybrids
There’s quick charge technology available
There can be tax benefits for hybrids
Have better range than electric cars
Re-sale value of a hybrid is generally OK
Can keep the motor warmer longer
Expensive upfront costs
Plug in hybrids are slow to charge
Number of quick re-charge stations are limited
Still produce pollution and greenhouse gases
Rely on finite fossil fuels
Number of hybrid models available are limited
Different cars can take different charging plugs
Can be less fuel efficient on highways
Hybrids are currently made more for efficiency, not performance
Different hybrids have different technology
Battery replacements and electric based repairs and maintenance can be costly
You may have to get an emissions test on the car
Hybrids won’t solve some existing road problems
*Note – these are very general pros and cons of hybrid cars.
Each brand and model of hybrid vehicle is obviously going to offer it’s own pros and cons, and each driver is going to have different requirements.
There will continue to be different variables as technology changes and society changes.
Different countries and cities also have different energy mixes, and policies and regulations in places which may change the pros and cons of hybrid cars in different places.
So, pros and cons can be vehicle, driver and location specific.
What Are Hybrid Vehicles
You can read a guide about the different types of hybrid vehicles here
What you’ll see is that there are two main types of hybrids:
– Standard Hybrids
Run off of conventional gasoline, and supplement that with some electric energy captured from the heat when you brake
– Plug In Hybrids
May run off of primarily conventional gasoline or electricity.
Can capture electric energy from the brakes, but can also be plugged into an external electrical point to charge the battery as well
Pros Of Hybrid Cars
Several Types Of Hybrids Available
Plug in, and non plug in
Can Be Cheaper To Run & More Fuel Efficient
Compared to conventional gasoline only cars which aren’t as fuel efficient or have as good fuel economy.
Electricity in particular with plug ins tends to be cheaper per mile than gasoline.
Hybrids make use of a dual petrol and electric motor set up
Technology Is Progressing Steadily & Improving
Hybrid technology is having more money and investment put into it’s development over time.
This improves range of driving, efficiency, durability, prices, availability, range of models and more.
Reporting System Is Intuitive
Some hybrids have an easy to read reporting system for things like fuel efficiency in the dash.
This makes is easy for new owners to see how their car is performing.
Prices Are Getting More Competitive
As technology and development progresses, prices will come down over time.
Easy To Re-Fuel
The pure hybrid models are easy to re-fuel.
The plug in models are easy to charge at home
Standard Hybrids Are Quick To Re-Fuel
The pure hybrids are quick to refuel at a gas station
There’s Many Gas Stations Available For Pure Hybrids
So, they are easily accessible compared if there were less stations
There’s Quick Charge Technology Available
Via direct current quick chargers.
These chargers can add about 50 miles to the range of any electric vehicle in under 30 minutes.
There Can Be Tax Benefits For Hybrids
Via concessions and tax credits of between $2500 to $7500.
Check your area’s tax guidelines though and check with a tax professional about this.
Have Better Range Than All Electric Cars
Compared to electric battery cars, hybrid cars can drive a longer range using gasoline and the internal combustion engine
Better For The Environment
Compared to petrol or diesel only cars, and mainly due to the increased fuel efficiency.
But, they still do produce pollution and greenhouse gases.
A hybrid cuts emissions by 25% to 35% over even the most fuel efficient gas powered models.
Re-Sale Value Of A Hybrid Is Generally OK
As technology progresses, some outdated models can have poor re-sale value, but some keep their value well in the market right now
Can Keep The Motor Warmer Longer
Some hybrids keep the motor warmer longer once you stop the car than a conventional petrol car where the motor can go cold within a few hours.
This can lead to there being less wear and tear on the motor long term
Cons Of Hybrid Cars
Expensive Upfront Costs
Hybrids tend to be more expensive than conventional cars
Plug In Hybrids Are Slow To Charge
The electricity in a plug in hybrid takes hours to re-charge compared to gasoline which takes minutes
Number Of Quick Re-Charge Stations Are Limited
Quick recharge stations for plug in hybrids is limited at this point
Still Emits Pollution & Greenhouse Gases
Any car using gasoline or conventional fuel in addition to electricity still emits pollution and greenhouse gases.
Rely On Finite Fossil Fuels
Any car using gasoline or conventional fuel still relies on a finite supply of fossil fuel like oil
Number Of Hybrid Models Available Are Limited
Don’t have as wide of a selection of models and brands as conventional cars
Different Cars Can Take Different Charging Plugs
Every plug in hybrid vehicle comes with a charging mechanism to allow its owner to refill its “tank” when the battery is running low.
There can sometimes be issues with matching a plug to an outlet.
Can Be Less Fuel Efficient On Highways
Compared to some conventional cars.
This is because there is no breaking, starting and stopping – which is where hybrids can excel.
It does depend on the hybrid model itself though
Hybrids Are Made More For Efficiency, Not Performance
Compared to say sport model petrol cars, you generally get far less performance features and power output.
They are more a inner city and urban car at this stage than a long range driving or performance car.
They are also probably not the best family cars right now.
Different Hybrids Have Different Technology
Not all hybrids have the same technology with how they integrate with electricity.
Check what technology your hybrid has before buying.
Battery Replacements & Electric Based Repairs & Maintenance Can Be Costly
Compared to a conventional gasoline vehicle.
You may also have to send the car to the dealer for this as a regular mechanic may not be able to, or be licensed to fix these issues.
You May Have To Get An Emissions Test On The Car To Confirm Eco Rating
Some hybrids aren’t as eco friendly with emissions as they might claim.
Getting an independent emissions test done on this can help.
A Country Or State’s Energy Mix Can Be A Variable In Emissions
For plug in hybrids specifically.
If coal is the main energy source used to generate electricity, then the car won’t be as eco friendly
Hybrids Won’t Solve Some Existing Road Problems
Unlikely to solve urban mobility and infrastructure-related problems such as traffic congestion.
Redesigning cities, encouraging biking, and encouraging more walking may be required to solve urban and CBD mobility and infrastructure and road issues.
Potential Future Of Hybrid Cars
Hybrid technology is developing as more hybrid cars are bought and companies invest in them more heavily
Right now, hybrids are more for efficient inner city and urban driving than long range and sports performance based driving
In general, hybrids might provide a more fuel efficient and more eco friendly option to petrol or diesel only cars – they produce less pollution and greenhouse gases overall usually
Right now, some hybrids may even be more eco friendly that some electric cars – especially the small to medium size hybrids
Electric vehicles (with only batteries and electric motors) and possibly hydrogen fuel cell vehicles might be more eco friendly in the long term though as electricity grids get cleaner
Hybrids could be good vehicle to help transition to those vehicle types (until EV technology advances, and until energy mixes become more clean worldwide)
Comparison Of Hybrid Vehicles vs Other Types Of Vehicles