Misconceptions and Myths about Hybrid Cars

Hybrid car

Clearing up five common misconceptions about hybrid cars

Have you ever wanted to own a hybrid car? Do you know much about them? Proponents might fill your head with all the benefits of owning and driving them, while naysayers might point you in the opposite direction. But who's right? Following are five myths and misconceptions about hybrid cars, to give you a further understanding.

Myth 1:  Hybrid Batteries need to be replaced

A hybrid car is not like a flashlight which needs new batteries every so often. Hybrid car batteries are designed to last for the life of the car, so they rarely need replaced. According to some reports, tests in hybrids that were driven 150,000 to 200,000 miles revealed the batteries were strong, with plenty of life left. Furthermore, depending on the manufacturer and model, most hybrid car batteries come with an eight to 10-year and/or 80,000 - 100,000 mile warranty.

Myth 2:  Hybrids need to be plugged in

This is a misconception among non-hybrid owners. Hybrid cars do not include a plug in feature. A plug and cord would be required to recharge the hybrid car's batteries if it were built that way. However, hybrid car technology uses a mechanism called Regenerative Braking. This allows the motor to recover energy traditionally lost in braking, capturing that energy to recharge its batteries.

Myth 3:  Hybrid car repair costs are expensive

This may have been true with earlier hybrid models. However, with prices normalizing to levels of conventional car repair and maintenance, it's quite possible hybrid car repairs are equal to — and in some cases — less than conventional car repairs today due in large part to their advanced technologies that generate less wear and tear on engines and brakes.   What's more, warranty coverage for most hybrid cars is comprehensive (in some cases upwards of 10 years/100,000 miles). Finally, more and more independent mechanics are learning hybrid car repair to keep up with demand.  It's likely that in the near future, after your hybrid car warranty expires, mechanics will be more readily available in your area to service hybrids.

Myth 4:  Hybrid cars are more expensive

After a new technology is introduced, the first iterations are usually always more expensive (and in some cases, not as advanced) as next generation versions.  The same is true for hybrid cars. Hybrid vehicles have been available to the public for about ten years now. In the first few years after being introduced, a hybrid could cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 more than a comparable conventional car. However, times have changed.  Many of today's hybrid cars come with more affordable price tags, with the purchase price gap steadily closing between hybrid cars and their gasoline counterparts. 

And back in the day, even if you found a hybrid priced within your budget, you may have been discouraged by talk of long hybrid waiting lists. In the first years after hybrids were introduced, demand was high, and waiting lists were common.  Now, with more models available, and at least a few dozen more models expected by the end of the decade, wait lists for a hybrid will probably become a thing of the past.

Myth 5:  Hybrid cars are too slow

Sure, hybrid cars may have been slow at first, but with today's advanced technologies offering better performance, some hybrids are achieving more horsepower and faster acceleration than conventional cars, while maintaining great fuel economy in the process.

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