Hybrid cars: advantages and disadvantages

Among the options that we currently have available to achieve more sustainable mobility, the hybrid car is one of the most interesting, thanks to its versatility. However, this type of vehicle also has some drawbacks, which should be known.

If you are thinking of buying a new car, you probably have many ideas in mind. And it is likely that one of them is looking for the best hybrid car of the moment, thanks to the advantages that these vehicles have. In fact, more and more people are betting on this type of engine, both for its environmental advantages and for the fuel savings that these cars offer.

However, it is important to know that, although there are many advantages of a hybrid car, it also has its drawbacks. If you don’t know why not to buy a hybrid, we leave you a summary of what you should know.

How does a hybrid car work?

A hybrid car is a vehicle that has two different engines. One of them is a traditional thermal engine, usually gasoline, while the second is an electric motor. The advantage of these vehicles is that, thanks to the management system they include, the car knows at all times which engine to use to be more efficient. In general, when we drive around town and at low speed, the electric motor is used . If we roll on the road or highway, the gasoline engine is activated or both, depending on what is necessary.

There are also a few options to choose from regarding the vehicle’s charging system. The usual thing is that we find plug-in hybrid cars on the market and a system that combines technology in series and in parallel. In the case of the plug -in, car batteries are charged directly with a cable, although regenerative charging systems are also usually included, through braking. 

These latter systems are the main source of recharging for serial or parallel hybrid cars. The difference between the two systems is that a series model also uses the gasoline engine as a generator for the electric motor, while in parallel mode they use both engines at the same time to run. Most hybrids today use both systems, depending on what is needed. And having made this description, it is time to talk about hybrid engines and their advantages and disadvantages.

Advantages of the electric car

Lower fuel consumption: It is one of the most outstanding advantages of the hybrid. The fuel consumption of these vehicles is lower than that of an equivalent model with a conventional engine. Taking the consumption declared by the manufacturer as a reference, this cost is reduced by 30% to 50% on average.

Urban vehicle: If you do many city tours, the hybrid car is the best option. Its low consumption in this environment, its regenerative capacity when braking and the efficiency of the electric motor at low speed make urban areas the terrain where the advantages of hybrid cars are most perceived.

Legal advantages: Given the current commitment to more sustainable mobility, there are numerous tax advantages for the hybrid car. Among them, we have a zero or very low registration tax, bonuses in the circulation tax , etc. There are also other advantages when driving, such as the possibility of accessing areas such as urban centers, prohibited to cars with combustion engines, free parking, use of special lanes, etc. 

Driving: Driving is easier, thanks to the assistance technology and the control panel included in the vehicle. The intelligence with which this type of car is endowed helps us to maintain speed, not to exceed it in prohibited areas and to maintain a more stable rhythm without jerks, compared to what happens with a vehicle with a conventional thermal engine.

Environmental effect: We cannot forget the advantages for the environment that a hybrid car has. The two main ones are the reduction of emissions compared to a combustion vehicle, as well as the lower noise level it generates. The latter is limited to the running of the tires in electric mode, since a hybrid car does not make any more noise if it does not use the combustion engine.

Disadvantages of the electric car

Acquisition cost: Due to the greater complexity of manufacturing the hybrid vehicle compared to the traditional one, the cost of the former is usually higher than that of the latter. It is true that the government usually offers subsidies for the purchase of these greener cars, but it is also necessary to meet the requirements established in this regard and manage the process before buying.

Maintenance costs : In general, the maintenance of hybrid cars and their breakdowns are always more expensive than those of a normal car. Let us think that to the normal maintenance expenses we must add the revisions and changes of components of the electrical part. In this section, the most expensive part is electric car batteries, whose replacement cost can be several thousand euros. As an extra, due to the complexity of these engines, not all workshops are able to maintain them properly, which means having to spend on a qualified service.

Space : Although this inconvenience is slowly disappearing, most of the hybrid vehicles that we find are usually compact. Something that is related to that adjusted power and the urban character that we have been commenting on in this type of car. 

Driving control: Another problem with hybrid cars is that the gearbox is automatic , so we cannot speed up the gears as we would in a gasoline model. This limits driving, in the same way that the engine and power management system does. So if you really like to drive, maybe this type of hybrid car is not the right one for you.

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