You would almost certainly be surprised to hear that hybrid cars have been with us since the very earliest days of automotive history, but you will not be astonished to be told that the technology has come on in leaps and bounds for the last ten years. In fact, the technology in hybrid cars has reached the level where fuel consumption in a hybrid can be half that of in a conventional internal combustion engine only car.
Half or even less than half under some circumstances like driving in town, especially in heavy traffic. In fact, when a hybrid is either cruising on electric or stopping and starting in thick traffic, there will be no use of petrol or diesel whatsoever, which means that you are driving ‘without cost’.
I put without cost in parentheses because a hybrid vehicle is still substantially dearer than a car with a traditional engine. However, even given the added cost of a hybrid vehicle, you can save that excess price over the average life time of the vehicle because of the saving on fuel. Of course, the higher the price of fuel, the sooner you will recover your extra initial outlay on the cost of the hybrid.
Maybe you are thinking that hybrid vehicle manufacturers are profiteering on the backs of car drivers who want to do their bit for the environment. Well, you would not be alone in thinking that, but the cost of developing hybrid technology was and still is costly and someone has to pay for it.
That is you and me, the end-users. Well, that is standard, but in some countries, the government has stepped in to subsidize individuals who purchase a hybrid vehicle, because governments all over the world are under an oath to reduce their country’s carbon footprint.
That means that now is as good a time as any to purchase a hybrid vehicle.
There are other reasons why a hybrid is costly though. The hybrid actually has two engines. A hybrid has a traditional engine run on traditional fuels, yet it also has an electric engine which runs off costly batteries. It is not that you have to replace the batteries as with a radio. The batteries are costly because they are very heavy duty rechargeable units.
The technology for recharging these batteries is also ground-breaking. The car uses traditional alternators to recharge them but it also uses braking power to recharge them too. Not just that but the car’s on board computer switches between the two motors automatically, depending on the quantity of power that is needed by the driver.
Keep an eye on the hybrid car market because prices are declining and coupled with subsidies, the time to buy a hybrid car may come sooner than you think.