In addition to designing iconic automobiles such as the Volkswagen Beetle, the Mercedes-Benz SSK and numerous models bearing his Porsche name, Ferdinand Porsche also built the first hybrid vehicle. While the appeal and function of hybrid cars have changed a lot since 1899, they remain an expensive alternative to traditional gas-powered vehicles. In order to determine whether they really are worth the hype, consider the following facts:
Even Base Model Hybrids are More Expensive
Put the purchase price of a gasoline hybrid car against its gas-only equivalent and the hybrid will be more, often by several thousand dollars. This means that the most basic Toyota Prius c (the cheapest model currently available at approximately $21, 600) is still nearly $6,000 more than the Toyota Yaris Liftback, a similarly sized alternative. And if you also take into account plug-in hybrids and all-electric cars, which are frequently marketed with more luxury features, the price difference climbs even more.
Hybrids May Save on Fuel Costs, but That Doesn’t Mean They’re Always Economical
When gas costs are high, you might be able to justify the extra initial upfront cost of a hybrid car with the savings you’ll garner by not having to buy fuel to power it. But keep in mind that certain types of hybrid cars will necessitate other costs in its place. They can be more expensive to maintain, requiring specialized mechanics to replace and/or repair their specialized parts. And trips made via a plug-in (PHEV) or electric vehicle (EV) will probably be longer with forced breaks to recharge batteries that frequently involve food and/or beverage purchases, as well as the loss of time. Furthermore, because hybrids are specifically designed to regenerate energy while braking, most are not particularly suited for towing capabilities that stress even conventional brake systems. Thus, if you need to hitch a trailer or camper to the back of your vehicle and all you own is a hybrid, you may have to shell out additional funds to rent a better-suited option to use instead.
Hybrids Benefit the Environment
Although the economic burden of hybrids might negate some of their appeal, the fact remains that they are environmentally friendly. They reduce air pollution by decreasing or eliminating (in the case of EV) CO2 emissions. They get better gas mileage and use less energy to manufacture and less fossil fuels to operate than traditional gas-powered cars.
Hybrids Hold Their Value
With more and more people becoming socially conscious, the demand for hybrid vehicles is increasing. This helps maintain hybrid car value, keeping the resale price of hybrid cars higher than gas-powered ones. It’s a perk that benefits both sellers wanting to offload their old cars and buyers wanting to enter the hybrid market at a more affordable price than retail.
So What’s the Bottom Line?
Hybrids are worth the hype for people who can afford them. The key is thoroughly researching available options and matching them to your available resources. Just as a doctor, or teacher, or even a business immigration attorney, strives to coordinate a need with the appropriate course of action, prospective hybrid owners must examine what they really need and what they really can afford. Only then can they decide whether hybrids really are worth the hype!