The 411 on Hybrid Cars

What is a Hybrid Car?

I am told that Hybrid cars aren’t really as complicated as it sounds.  There is an electric motor and a rechargeable battery added to a gas engine, with an on-board computer that switches between gas and electric for you.  Your  efficiency can increase by as much as 50%.   You do not have to plug these in because they are charged by the movement of the wheels.

Hybrid Car Facts

Hybrid vehicles produce less environmental pollution.  This can help reverse the harmful effects we have already inflicted on the environment.  This is so important that the government even supports the purchase of plug-in  hybrid vehicles and electric cars by allowing a tax write off.  According to Hybrid cars.com:

“Drivers converting a car into a plug-in hybrid, or a gas-powered car into an electric vehicle, will receive a tax credit equal to 10 percent of the conversion cost.  The maximum credit is $4,000 for a $40,000 conversion. The credits were provided as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, otherwise known as the ‘stimulus bill.’ ”

Nearly every major manufacturer makes hybrid vehicles now, so it is not a “fad”, but rather a growing trend.  Hybrid’s are in high demand and depreciate at a much slower rate than a gasoline vehicle, so they will hold their value longer.   Hybrids have been in Japan since 1997, but we haven’t seen them here in the U.S. for very long.  Hybrid cars tend to run well for longer periods of time and it is not unusual for them to run well even when they have 250,000 miles on them.  Hybrids also do not require anymore maintenance than a gasoline vehicle.

“The hybrid battery packs are designed to last for the lifetime of the vehicle, somewhere between 150,000 and 200,000 miles, probably a whole lot longer. The warranty covers the batteries for between eight and 10 years, depending on the carmaker and the location.”  says Hybridcars.com

What Are my Options?

There are 6 basic types of Hybrid vehicles:

 Sedan, Coupe, Pickup, SUV, Luxury,  Van/Wagon. 

Under each category is a sub list of vehicles from each manufacturer.  I will break each category down and give a few examples.

  • Sedans: Chevrolet Volt, Toyota Prius, Ford Fusion Hybrid, Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, Chevrolet Cruze, Toyota Camry Hybrid, Nissan Versa, Nissan Sentra, Chevrolet Aveo, Kia Soul, Kia Optima Hybrid, Volvo C30 Electric.



  • Coupes: Toyota Yaris, Toyota FT-EV, Smart For Two (you may have seen a lot of these on the road recently). 

  

  • Pickups: Chevrolet Silverado Hybrid, GMC Sierra Hybrid, Chevrolet Silverado E85, Ford F-150 E85

  • SUV: Ford Escape Hybrid,Toyota Highlander Hybrid, Chevrolet Equinox, GMC Yukon Hybrid

  • Luxury: Lincoln MKZ Hybrid, Lexus GS 450h, Cadillac Escalade Hybrid 

  • Vans/Wagons: Dodge Caravan E85, , Volvo V70 Plug in Hybrid, Toyota Sienna Hybrid. 




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