It’s time to go green.
As the world reels from the effects of global warming, it’s time we all helped in the efforts to take back our planet. How do we do this? By making more environmentally responsible choices when it comes to our daily living -from LED light bulbs to recycling- we all must do our share in the battle to save the planet.
One way to help is choosing your new car. There are options aside from gasoline, like diesels and fully electric vehicles like the Tesla Roadster. The other, more popular option would be the Hybrid.
Hybrid cars use two engines, one is a small and fuel-efficient gasoline engine meant for heavy lifting and the other is an electric motor that runs the show most of the time. The hybrid car automatically switches from engine to engine, depending on the situation.
I’ve put together six of the most important things you should know before parting ways with your dough and buying a hybrid car.
#1: Hybrid cars will save you money – Owning a hybrid vehicle will save you money at the pump (some pure hybrids go for 40-60 mpg) for as long as you keep using it. The one caveat here is this: payback. Payback is the calculated length of time it takes cheaper running costs to match the increased purchase cost of an item, which in the case of hybrids, can take up to several years to decades depending on fuel prices. So it’s safe to assume that you will feel the savings now and everytime you gas up, but the reality is the car will pay for itself in due time, unlike conventional cars. Hybrids also depreciate slower than regular cars, and the hybrid parts have longer warranties.
#2: Hybrid cars are more expensive upfront – Hybrids generally cost more than conventional vehicles. Expect a 20% spike in the upfront cost of owning one. Pure electric cars cost even more, with luxury brands charging north of $100,000. The cheapest mild-hybrid car is about $20,000 – still a lot compared to its conventional gasoline or even diesel counterpart. Don’t worry about the upfront prices though, because most governments that have strict environmental protection policies like the US and Canada, provide rebates and tax incentives for motorists who choose to use a hybrid or electric car and trade in their old gas guzzler.
#3: The Battery Myth – There’s this long standing myth that the batteries of hybrid cars can be beaten by the energizer bunny. Not true. The batteries last long, even under heavy use. Replacement batteries are also a lot cheaper now compared to when the first hybrid rolled off the assembly line floor. So don’t worry about the batteries. They will probably even outlast the car.
#4: Hybrids are not race cars, but they’re getting there – 0-60 in 3.5 seconds? Absolutely! Hybrid Tech developer Frazer-Nash Research and Italian design firm Italdesign Giugiaro joined forces to build the Namir, a concept plug-in hybrid that can go from 0-62 in 3.5 seconds, and has a top speed of 187 MPH, with an extended range of 1,200 miles. The new Toyota Camry has 156 hp, and the Lexus CT 200h can muster up 134 horses. Not bad at all if a super hybrid is out of your budget.
#5: Hybrids: More than Toyota – A few years ago, if you visit Adamstoyota.com – you’ll find a lot of info on hybrids that were generally thought of as dull and boring (the old Prius). Not anymore. Porche, BMW, Lexus. These names are synonymous to luxury, speed and cutting edge design. They simply build the fastest and baddest sports cars on the planet. Now that these car manufacturers have jumped in and made stunning hybrid cars, it is truly the best time to buy a hybrid. Expect refined luxury appointments and accessories as standard if you buy a hybrid from any one of these car makers.
#6: Saving the planet – Hell yeah! This is what we’re here for, the reason we’re buying a hybrid in the first place. Yes, the savings over time is great. But the real reason people are going green is a desire to help the planet in any way, shape or form. Most hybrid cars produce 90% less pollutants vs conventional cars, have lower emissions and use less gasoline.
If I were to choose between a conventional car and a hybrid, I would go for the hybrid any day. The old reason of hybrids being boring and slow is a non-factor now. Hell, if I had the resources, I’d be driving around in a Tesla or a Porche right now. I’m not only helping the planet: I’m driving in style as I do.