What is a hybrid car? It is a car that uses two or more engines, i.e. an electric motor and a regular engine (gasoline or diesel). An electric engine runs at lower speeds and an internal combustion engine runs at higher speeds. A hybrid car such as the Toyota Prius and Civic Hybrid not only saves fuel but also reduces carbon emissions.
Although hybrid technology has existed since the early 1900s, it has only become widespread in the last decade or so. There are also government programs to stimulate the purchase of hybrids, which use loans and special discounts to support the purchase and use of hybrid cars. Many cities are switching their public utility vehicles to hybrid engines as part of their eco-friendliness programs
While most people associate hybrid vehicles with the type of energy used as a primary alternative fuel, more hybrid options are now available. There are cars that use hybrid technologies with propane and natural gas. A hybrid car is best defined as an engine vehicle that can switch between fossil fuels and an alternative fuel source.
Battery life of a hybrid car
Batteries in modern hybrids are designed to last at least 150,000 kilometers. Some can even run up to 250,000 km or more. If you are the original owner of a hybrid car, you probably won’t have to replace the battery for a long time, because it wears out very slowly.
However, hybrid batteries are not protected from environmental influences and the laws of physics. Like any other part of the car, they can suddenly fail. That’s why car manufacturers provide long-term warranty on the battery pack.
If you encounter a battery replacement, you do not need to panic. The cost of a new battery pack for different hybrid models continues to decline and now amounts to about $3,000. But remember, the battery replacement must be done by professionals. There are strict rules for handling and disposal of old batteries, which can be a source of hazardous substances.
As for the replacement itself, very few third-party mechanics have the necessary skills to solve this problem. Almost all replacements are done today by dealers who have the experience and the right equipment to do so correctly. The new batteries installed by an official dealer are supplied with a full warranty, which is quite essential.
Although there are many theories on how to extend the life of hybrid batteries, they are very ineffective. Simply keeping your car in line with the recommendations is the best way to ensure that your battery stays healthy for as long as possible.
When are you going to find out that it’s time for a new battery? It’s simple, because your car will tell you about it. Thanks to the fact that modern hybrids work under the close supervision of the on-board computer, you will always be aware not only that your battery needs to be replaced, but also can quickly learn about any problems with your car.
Hybrid vehicle problems
Most people believe that hybrid cars have less power than conventional cars, making them not ideal for mountain driving or towing. But this is the most important mistake.
The disadvantages will depend on what type of hybrid fuel your vehicle uses:
- Less power. Hybrid cars use two independent engines, with a gasoline engine as the main source of energy. Two engines in a car mean that neither the gasoline engine nor the electric motor will be as powerful as conventional gasoline or electric vehicles. The result is less power, making vehicles unsuitable for dynamic acceleration.
- An expensive purchase. The first constraint for many people is the high cost of hybrid cars, which are on average five to ten thousand dollars more expensive than conventional cars. However, it is a one-time investment that will justify itself for a long time.
- Difficult to handle. Hybrid cars have more knots than ordinary cars. The additional weight in vehicles reduces fuel efficiency. Hybrids therefore have to make compromises to reduce engine volume and batteries.
- High maintenance costs. Repair and maintenance of these vehicles can be cumbersome due to double engines, continuous technological development and high maintenance costs.
- Batteries are under high voltage. In the event of an accident, the high voltage contained in the batteries can be fatal. The presence of such high voltage increases the risk that passengers will be severely affected by electricity.
Switching to a hybrid car has many advantages. Here are some of them.
- Environmental friendliness. One of the main reasons why public and private organizations are switching to hybrid vehicles is because they operate on environmentally friendly sources.
- Economical. To promote hybrid cars, governments in many countries provide several credits for those who want to switch to the hybrid alternative.
- Less dependence on fossil fuels. With the help of an electric motor, a hybrid vehicle needs less fossil fuel, which results in lower emissions and less dependence on fossil fuels.
- Regenerative braking system. The interesting thing about hybrid cars is that every time you use brakes while driving, the electric battery is slightly recharged.
- Higher resale costs. As gasoline becomes more expensive, more and more people are switching to hybrid cars.
Today the purchase of a hybrid is a definitely profitable investment. Given the adaptability, cost-effectiveness, and various government subsidies, the hybrid should become a real candidate for purchase, if you are now facing the choice of a new car.