By Wang’ombe Kibunja
The 21st century has come with new technologies that continue to amaze the world from the pancake flipper to more advanced hybrid cars. As time goes by, people are trying to find new ways to save the planet from becoming inhabitable for the human race. Hybrid cars have been conceptualized to save the world from the effects of global warming, and shortage of crude oil. After many years of research to find a car that is close to being eco friendly, hybrid cars happened. This car features a small fuel-efficient gas engine combined with an electric motor that assists the engine when accelerating. The electric motor is powered by batteries that recharge automatically while you drive.
Here are some advantages of hybrid cars:
The Car Stays Warm
Mechanics will tell you that when you start an engine cold, it is harder to crank and produces more engine wear than when you start one that is already warmed up. Hybrid cars prevent cold starts by storing coolant in the equivalent of a thermos. This system keeps the fluid warm for up to three days. We are looking forward to enjoying easy starts and instant heat next winter.
They recharge as you drive
This is more convenient for those who are doing high mileage and want to lower their carbon footprint. A conventional hybrid has regenerative braking, which means the battery recharges as you drive unlike a fully electric vehicle which has a limit to the distance you can travel under full charge. This means that you do not have to stop to charge it up, just fill your tank and drive, it simply charges while you drive. So if you are doing quite a high mileage, you will not have to worry about stopping to recharge your car.
Reduced Fuel Costs
With gas prices up… then down… then up again, there is no smarter reason to switch to a hybrid for fuel efficiency. Hybrid cars use much less or even no petrol or diesel fuel at all, cutting your running costs. Hybrid cars can go for long distances between fill-ups, meaning you should be able to cut visits to your neighborhood gas station in half, saving you time as well as money.
The debate over climate change and how much humans have to do with it has not slowed down much. But it is worth noting the impact conventional vehicles have on the Earth and how hybrid technology has the potential to lessen that impact. Burning fossil fuels, like the gasoline burned in an internal combustion engine, releases carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, where they collect and warm the planet. As the global climate changes, significant consequences can arise, including elevated temperatures, rising sea levels, freshwater scarcity, and crop failures.
Unfortunately there are always two sides to a coin and everything that has its advantages may have its own disadvantages, here are some of the disadvantages of a Hybrid car:
Recouping the Extra Cost
Most new hybrid owners justify the higher initial purchase cost of their vehicle by saying that they will make up the difference in fuel savings. Well, that plan may take a little longer than most new car owners think. Oftentimes, it can take several years to make up the cost of a hybrid car in gas savings.
Servicing and maintenance charges can be higher
Because there are two engines and there is quite a bit of technology being used in those engines, maintenance costs can be higher. Also, you may find your local garage does not do services or maintain hybrid cars because of the different technology. However, there are more and more garages that do this so it will not be long before every garage can service and maintain hybrid cars.
The car may not hold its value
Hybrid car prices are above average but are inevitably coming down with a rapidly increasing demand. You also know that any tax incentives that may apply now may not continue forever. What does that mean? It means that you will not be able to sell your car at a premium price later, even though the resale value is good now. So if you buy a hybrid because you think it will hold its value, do not count on that being true in five years. The vehicles also depreciate in value faster as their batteries wear out, canceling out the fuel efficiency previously experienced as they tend to consume similarly to the normal petrol or diesel version when the batteries go bye bye. Replacing the batteries is also a somehow pricey affair.