At All Around Auto Care in Westminster, customers often want to know more about how to buy a hybrid car before they purchase one. Maybe you’re considering one because it will save you money on gas or, maybe you want one because it is better for the environment. Whatever your motivation, buying a hybrid car might be the perfect step for you, but there is more information you might want to consider first.
As you likely know, hybrid cars have become a staple in the American mass market for cars. Though they have become more popular and visible, people can still be hesitant when it comes to purchasing one. Let’s break down everything you need to know.
How Does a Hybrid Car Work?
Hybrid cars are generally cars that use more than one form of power for both propulsion and energy. The majority of hybrid cars use an internal combustion engine and a battery power motor. Usually, a hybrid car primarily uses the electric system. This is what gives hybrid cars better gas mileage than a standard gas-powered vehicle. When the vehicle is accelerating, the batteries discharge extra power and it recharges the power while the car decelerates or stops.
Why Does a Hybrid Need a Gas-Powered Engine?
Hybrid cars use the gas-powered engine as a generator for recharging the batteries. The gas-powered engine also helps power the car as it’s accelerating and also helps it maintain cruising speed. Not every hybrid is calibrated exactly the same, so there are actually several classifications that differentiate the different calibrations.
Hybrid Car Types
- Mini hybrid: This type of car is also called an “eAssist system” and is not often marketed as a hybrid because it only uses a little bit of electricity to help the car stop and start.
- Mild hybrid: This hybrid only uses the electric system when the car needs more power such as during acceleration. This means the car mainly uses its gas-powered engine.
- Strong hybrid: This type of hybrid is also referred to as a pure hybrid. This system works as generally explained originally above and is one of the systems that saves more fuel.
- Plug-in hybrid: This type of hybrid runs mostly on electricity. The gas-powered engine can be accessed for longer drives, giving it a longer available distance. Generally, this is the kind of hybrid that will save you the most in fuel costs.
How Does a Hybrid Car Battery Charge?
In a hybrid, there is a generator, which is powered by the engine. The hybrid car battery gets its energy both from this generator and from the brake system, which is regenerative. Generally, as the car’s brakes are applied, electricity is generated by friction. When the car is coasting, such as when it travels downhill, the process captures some of the energy produced by the momentum.
Will I Need to Replace the Battery Frequently?
Generally, a hybrid car battery should last for at least 80,000 miles and many will last for over 100,000 miles.
Will I Have to Plug in My Car?
Unless your hybrid is a plug-in model, you will not have to plug in your car.
Are Hybrid MPGs the Same for City and Highway Driving?
Typically, the MPG for hybrids vary, by make and model. The EPA indicates that overall, a hybrid will get better MPG in the city, than it will on the highway. The frequent stop and start driving that occurs in the city is the primary reason that the gas mileage is better than on the highway. Additionally, hybrid cars use their electricity more at slower driving speeds, which occurs more often in city driving.
Are Hybrids Only Available in a Few Models?
When it comes to how to buy a hybrid car, here’s where things parallel standard cars the most. Hybrid cars are available in compact cars, sedans, coupes, sport utility vehicles (SUVs), and even trucks. With every passing year, the options for hybrids expand further allowing drivers to choose the kind of hybrid that fits their needs and style.
Hybrid Car Benefits
The best benefit to a hybrid car is it fuel efficiency. Hybrids can get up to 50 MPG and that is a huge advantage both your bank account and the environment. Speaking of environment, the hybrid car produces fewer emission and fewer greenhouse gases (though hybrids are not without environmental concerns). Hybrid cars also offer a better resale value than gas-only cars. They can be hard to find as a used vehicle because they have great reliability over time, which increases their used-car value.
Hybrid Car Disadvantages
No car is perfect, not even a hybrid. One of the frequent complaints about a hybrid is that there is not as much room available. The larger battery packs require more space, cutting into the available internal space as well as limiting the trunk space. Another disadvantage is that most hybrid cars ride lower to the ground and this can be problematic if you frequent dirt roads or live in an area with infrequent road maintenance.
Plus, hybrids can be a little more expensive to repair since they sometimes require specialized parts, and you can’t just go to any mechanic. You’ll need to bring your hybrid to your dealership or find a certified shop specializing in hybrid and electric vehicles. Luckily, All Around Auto Care in Westminster is conveniently located and experienced in all things hybrid.
What to Choose
If you want a hybrid, consider the differences in the available types to figure out which hybrid would serve your needs best. Be aware of the overall advantages and disadvantages while you are searching. Aside from that, choosing a hybrid is not that much different than selecting a gas-powered model. Look at any available reports on the hybrid car you are considering. As with any car, the more you know, the better armed you will be when you visit a dealer.
At All Around Auto Care in Westminster, we want you to know more about how to buy a hybrid car before you purchase one to make your selection process a little easier. We hope this helps you choose the perfect fit, whether that’s a Prius, Camry hybrid, Chevy Volt or other vehicle.