Most would claim that the first hybrid car was produced in 1997. However, it was during 1899 that Porsche created Lohner-Porsche Elektromobil. It is the combined ingenuity of Jacob Lohner, a Viennese coachbuilder, and Ferdinand Porsche, a budding Austrian engineer. The Lohner-Porsche Elektromobil stole the spotlight during the 1900 Paris Auto Show due to its first-of-a-kind technology.
After the conception of the first hybrid car, Toyota mass-produced Prius in 1997 to join the game. Honda then introduced Insight in 1999. Since then, there has been a hype towards hybrid cars, with car manufacturers highlighting their benefits. However, due to the technologies utilized by hybrid vehicles, they are retailed at higher prices than conventional automobiles.
Let’s delve into the actual cost of hybrid cars both to the consumers and the environment.
Exceptional Fuel Economy
Reduced fuel consumption is one of the top benefits of hybrid cars. In this age, fuel is a costly commodity. Thus, some savings concerning fuel is a welcome thought for every consumer. Until 1899, the sole source of energy in vehicles is gasoline. But, when Porsche introduced the first hybrid car, followed by Toyota’s mass production, a vehicle can be both fuel- and electricity-generated.
Since hybrid cars offer the option between fuel and battery, they consume less fuel during drives. For instance, the 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid has a high 55 miles per gallon (mpg) rating in the city and 54 mpg on the highway. This rating means that Hyundai Ioniq, a hybrid car, is more fuel-efficient since it uses up less gasoline than a non-hybrid vehicle, which generally has a low 35 mpg rating.
Car manufacturers use small gas engines to have an option for fuel-powered drives. An electric system then provides extra power without burning additional fuel. This process allows hybrid cars to have an improved fuel economy without reducing its capability.
Lowered Price of Hybrid Car Parts and Accessories
It is a widespread opinion that hybrid car parts cost more than those of conventional vehicles. However, since hybrid cars are no longer exclusive, car manufacturers offer lowered prices of hybrid car parts. For instance, during the introduction of mass-produced hybrids, their batteries cost up to $8,000.00. Today, manufacturers and resellers offer hybrid vehicles’ batteries for as low as $2,000.00. Hybrid car owners can expect even lower prices in the coming years due to the steadfast popularity of hybrid cars.
Car manufacturers even recycle these batteries for lowered production costs. However, there are not enough surrendered batteries for recycling. Instead of seeing this as a problem, consumers should perceive it as a success of hybrid car batteries. Most hybrid car owners do not surrender their cars’ batteries because the cells continue to function many years after purchasing.
Also, resellers offer discounted original equipment manufacturer (OEM) hybrid auto parts and accessories. You can find low-cost auto parts without compromising on quality. Whether your car is fuel-powered or gas and electricity-powered, it is crucial to purchase authentic parts and accessories. Dealing with OEM parts dealers ensures the utmost compatibility of materials with your vehicle, which then guarantees its proper functioning.
No Extra Cost for Hybrid Car Maintenance
Similar to the car parts and accessories, maintenance and repair costs for hybrid cars are not overpriced. There is no additional maintenance required for hybrid vehicles. More often than not, the engine of a hybrid auto is in a better state than a conventional car since the gas engine is used interchangeably with the battery.
It is also worth noting that hybrid car owners can use the original brake pads for a long time. The regenerative braking systems of hybrid vehicles eradicate the wear and tear experienced by mechanical brake pads. More importantly, car batteries utilize the electrical energy produced by regenerative brake pads. This technology makes hybrid cars energy-efficient machines.
Reasonable Price of Warranty and Insurance Coverage
Car manufacturers equip most hybrid cars with driving assistance features such as anti-collision and lane departure warning systems. Hence, some insurance companies charge less to hybrid car owners since they assume that these cars are less prone to accidents. The lowering prices of hybrid car parts also contribute to reduced insurance charges.
In terms of the warranty, the standard coverage for batteries is ten years or 150,000 miles. This offer is a big leap from previous years’ 100,000-mile coverage. Newer cars can even take advantage of free-of-charge battery replacements due to the improved warranty.
Hidden Carbon Footprint of Hybrid Cars
Even though car companies have repeatedly claimed in their advertisements that hybrid vehicles help the environment, still, some points need to be raised.
First, the making of hybrid cars involves the use of fossil fuels. The metals, glass, and leather used in the creation of hybrids use a vast amount of coal and thousands of liters of gasoline. Hence, hybrid vehicles still have a significant carbon footprint.
Second, some plug-in hybrid cars use electricity produced from fossil fuels. These cars may emit less carbon dioxide during drives, but the fossil fuel powerplants from which they get power still emit tons of carbon dioxide. Thus, there is an illusion of ultimately saving the environment from greenhouse gases.
Despite these controversies, it is still worth considering that there is an increased interest in the use of renewable energy resources such as wind and solar. These continued innovations show that hybrid cars are on the right path to alleviating environmental problems.