They are considered hybrids a slightly greener springboard towards fully electric vehicles, with the internal combustion engine of hybrids seen more as an alternative to reassure drivers who suffer from a dreaded anxiety about autonomy … While hybrids are growing in popularity, there are some drawbacks which you should consider before buying one.
The Three Big Problems of Hybrid Cars
The internal combustion engine
The internal combustion engine of a hybrid car can be an advantage or a disadvantage. On the one hand, the internal combustion engine is the ideal element to calm you down if you suffer from range anxiety, offering a practical emergency solution if the battery runs out of charge. On the other hand, still emits CO2 emissions harmful to the atmosphere, which is usually the main thing that people want to avoid when buying an electric vehicle …
Having an electric motor and an internal combustion engine means that you have two power lines with their own maintenance requirements. which can complicate things in case of repair. In addition, they are generally less powerful. The problem occurs especially when the batteries can no longer withstand the charge.
You will need to purchase a new battery from a dealer or refurbish yours from a mechanic or the car will not work as the batteries are part of the drive train. A new battery can cost over € 2,370. And while a refurbished unit may be cheaper, it may not last as long.
Worse, there is no way to know when the battery may be depleted. Many hybrid vehicles can travel up to 250,000 miles with their original battery, but some batteries fail as soon as 150,000 miles. At this level, buying a used hybrid vehicle can they pose a great risk.
High cost for less maneuverability
While the price difference between internal combustion engines and hybrids is not as great as between internal combustion engines and electric vehicles, are still more expensive, which makes cost one of the main drawbacks of hybrid cars.
Hybrid vehicles incorporate two powertrains into one car, which means more weight, which can negatively affect fuel efficiency and handling.
Note: Fuel economy is the strong point of the hybrid!
Some insurance companies believe that hybrid vehicle drivers have it less likely to have an accident than drivers of non-hybrid vehicles. Others do not give hybrids any special credit for changing driver behavior. Thus, some insurers offer reduced premiums for hybrid models, while others do not.
Some insurers may even charge more if their claim history shows that hybrid components cost more to repair if damaged. Therefore, it is important to ask your agent what to expect. If your insurer doesn’t offer hybrid vehicle discounts or charges higher rates, you may need to do so. look for a new blanket.
Temperature sensitive batteries
Batteries used in electrified vehicles does not withstand extreme temperatures : Excessive heat accelerates battery degradation and extreme cold adversely affects battery life. In cold weather, hybrid batteries take longer to reach operating temperature, forcing the internal combustion engine to expend more power.
Also, as we know, the production of lithium-ion batteries uses rare earth metals, and the equipment used to extract them – especially bulldozers and other mining machinery – runs on diesel, which nullifies the idea of buying a hybrid to have a positive impact on the environment.
The good news: EV batteries they can be recycled when they reach the end of their life cycle. The bad news is that extracting reusable cells from batteries is a difficult and expensive process, which means that there is a long way to go before it can be scaled up in a cost-effective and environmentally friendly way.
Do the math
We understand that there are many reasons to buy a hybrid car. For some drivers, this is an environmental statement. But For buyers who just want to save money, a hybrid car may not be the best solution.
A Toyota Prius, for example, is several thousand dollars more expensive than a Toyota Corolla of a similar size. And even if it consumes less gas than the Corolla, it would take years to make up for the price difference. In fact, depending on your driving style, it can take up to a decade, and this can make a hybrid much less attractive than a gasoline car.
In many cases, choosing a hybrid car is a good option. But it’s important for buyers to know that modern hybrid cars still have some drawbacks.
What does this mean for the future?
All in all, the hybrid or electric car you buy today should be better for the environment than what you might have bought years ago, and what you buy in a few years should be better than anything you can buy today.
Technology keeps improving, whether it’s more efficient manufacturing processes, less extractive mining techniques, or changes in battery composition. In addition, industry and government regulations continue to force battery manufacturers to work harder.