Everything You Should Know About Hybrid Cars

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Whether you are interested in doing more to help the environment, or you are just looking for a new car that will be slightly cheaper to run; the hybrid car should certainly be on your watch list. This type of car is ideal for families and as well as individuals; and as more car manufacturers realise how profitable hybrid cars can be, it is only a matter of time before more affordable hybrid cars are introduced to the market.

Over the last 20 years, hybrid cars have come a long way. Once thought of as a science experiment that would never take off outside the labs and test tracks; hybrid cars are now more popular than ever. Part of the revolution in hybrid design has been that the cars are incorporating all kinds of different technologies to improve the driving experience. Plus, as the cost of gas is rising and people become more aware of the environmental cost of driving; the hybrid is the best compromise you can make for your family.

So What is a Hybrid Car?

A hybrid car uses both a combustible engine powered with gas and an electric engine which can be charged with electricity. In other words, a hybrid car is a cross between a regular car and an electric car. There are a few different kinds of hybrid car, but in general, they will run on both electricity and gas and are significantly more fuel efficient than your regular car.  

Hybrid cars were originally developed because while electric cars were better for the environment, they couldn’t take long trips without having to stop and recharge. Now, some 20 years later; hybrid cars are becoming increasingly popular as they are a good compromise between regular cars and fully electric cars which haven’t yet caught on everywhere.

While you might think that hybrid cars would have a particular look, you can actually get them in some rather snazzy designs ranging from available hybrids SUVs to hybrid saloons. Since the main point of hybrid design is to take the best parts of a number of different designs and technologies, this isn’t really surprising.

What are the Advantages?

One of the main advantages of a hybrid car is that you get all the benefits of both an electric car and a regular gas powered car. The electric element means that the car is much cheaper to run as you will require significantly less fuel. Plus, as the economy setting means that the engine switches off at red lights, you can conserve the fuel you have and enjoy a much quieter ride.

In fact, fuel economy is what makes hybrid cars so appealing to families in particular. This is especially so when you have to use your car a lot for school runs, after school activities and occasional visits to your friends’ houses - not to mention your own usage! - knowing that you won’t need to spend so much on gas is a huge bonus.

Hybrids are particularly good for driving in the city where you are likely to spend a lot of time stopping and starting. This is because the energy used for braking can be repurposed by your car and used to set off again. Apart from saving energy by being much more efficient, this is ideal for increasing the mileage you can get out of your car. In fact, the more slowing down you do in a hybrid car, the more mileage you will get from it.

Are there any Disadvantages?

Hybrid cars may be coming down in cost, but they are still more expensive than your average ride. This is mostly due to the fact that hybrid cars tend to make use of cutting edge technology such that while your journeys are much more enjoyable and your fuel economy is great; the initial cost can be quite steep. However, if you have the money and you are looking for a car with a difference, a hybrid model should still stay high on your list.

Another downside to having a hybrid vehicle is that, in general, they are more expensive to insure. The reasons for this are quite predictable and it can be quite frustrating as hybrid cars require more specialised parts, require a specialist to fit them, and the car itself is more expensive. The best advice here is to make sure that you shop around for the best insurance deal and check with your insurer before you buy so that you can be sure that you are able to afford the insurance later on.

Would a Hybrid Suit My Family?

The answer to this question depends a lot on what you are looking for in your family car. Safety is obviously a top priority and hybrid cars are not short on the latest safety technologies either. As more and more people switch to electric cars, and hybrids also get more popular; the inclusion of technologies such as heated seats and touch screens is becoming a standard. This is ideal for you as it means that you get a more satisfying ride. 

Many hybrid cars also come with the option to drive ‘electric only’ which allows you to enjoy a much quieter ride - just what you need when you have a little one in the back who just wants to sleep.

It seems only natural that as we make more and more technological advances, the family car is the best place to find some incredible changes. Even if the future is looking likely to be all self-driving cars, the hybrid car will offer a great driving experience and better fuel economy.