When the first Prius hit the roads back in the earlier 2000’s, opinions on the new hybrid category of vehicles were highly polarized. Some loved them, others hated them. As more and more gas-savers hit the market almost daily, we figured it was time to step back and take a look at the real benefits of accepting the hybrids into our lives.
How a Hybrid Works
Okay, so many of us don’t fully understand what “hybrid” really means. The basic concept is that the vehicle combines a gasoline engine with an electric motor. The vehicle charges it’s own battery and utilizes it when it deems necessary. Often times when driving in the city, the car is operating at lower speeds and uses the battery portion more. Therefore, hybrids tend to achieve higher efficiency when driving in the city. That is not always the case, but in general they do tend to be better on the city streets than on highways.
We all know the basic benefit of buying a hybrid: better gas mileage and fewer fill-ups. Many buyers cited lower fuel emissions and the benefit for the environment as well. The pay back can be nice after a few years of gas purchase savings. But overall, that payback does take time unless you currently get those abhorrent low-teens gas mileage numbers.
An added benefit possibility comes with insurance. Some providers offer lower premiums for their hybrid clients. Not all participate in this incentive, but it’s always worth a try to get the most of your hybrid purchase.
Take Note Of…
When buying a hybrid, you’ll likely find the purchase price to be a bit higher than their basic trim level counterparts. While there are many benefits to think about in the long run, you’ll pay for some of those up front.
Hybrids have been on the roads long enough for even the most conservative buyer to have them on their mind. Analyzing the benefits and payback period on gas savings is something to consider. But the hybrid brings about a statement and a lifestyle. Making the most of that lifestyle includes the environmentally friendly stigma, the high tech gadgets, as well as the fuel economy. So the next time you’re in the market for a new vehicle, maybe consider making a lifestyle change with a hybrid.