Benefits and Drawbacks of Hybrid Electric Cars

Published: 11th June 2009
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If you just listen to the car manufacturers, hybrid electric cars are the best and innovative invention since slice bread. Although, there many reasons to purchase an electric car, it is of great help to have the understanding of its benefits and drawbacks of hybrid electric cars and in owning these new "green vehicles.

Benefits of hybrid electric cars are normally fuel efficiency because they are composed of two motors, a gasoline motor and an electric powered motor. It is also equipped with special system to catch braking energy and store it on an onboard battery.

The main reason for two motors is both the strength and weakness of the two types. Distinctively, electric motors are not energy during idle times, they turn off and utilizes lesser at low speeds compared to gas motors. On the other hand, gas motors function better at high speeds and can generate more power for a specified motor weight. This simplifies, that in rush hours stop and go driving, electric motors work great and additionally, it helps in reducing smog levels because it does not produce any toxic exhaust. At higher speeds, typically above 40mph, the gas motor sets in and gives that bouncing feel making car owners go forward on driving on highway.

Another benefits of hybrid electric cars are the point for having gas motor, it charges the battery while the engine is on and is running. There are cases of electric car owners that have been stranded with just out extension cord of an outlet. Hybrid owners can neglect this annoyance because the gas motors starts automatically in replacement when the battery gets low and then goes forward to charge the battery, without the need to be plugged into the outlet.

On the contrary, drawbacks of hybrid electric cars are complex and expensive. It contains two motors and ancillary systems to handle them, a heavy battery and a regeneration system that will be used to generate electricity during breaking.

All of the systems need to work together, that is adding complexity, making it one of the drawbacks of hybrid electric cars. Although an ordinary car, as controlled by computers are getting more reliable, but they still suffer from inevitable failures. As, expect owners of hybrid cars have more time in repair shops and pay larger bills.

Indeed, benefits of hybrid electric cars include being the most gasoline efficient, getting 48 to 60mpg. It is only about 20% to 35% better than a gasoline powered vehicle. Let's take Honda Civic for instance that gets 36mpg. When comparing prices, the hybrid costs from the range of $19,000 to $25,000 and the ordinary gas saver car costs $13,000 to$17,000. The justification to buy an electric hybrid car becomes less clear.

So, in calculation of this benefits of hybrid electric cars, the discrepancy in the average annual fuel bills, $405 for a hybrid Honda Insight compared to the $635 for an ordinary Honda Civic means you can never compensate the added initial cost of a hybrid electric car. For the span of ten years, owning a hybrid will just save you only $2,300, much lesser than the cost difference for equipped cars.
These benefits of hybrid electric cars just came from the improvements in aero dynamics, smaller gas engine and weight reduction. As a matter of fact, any car will have considerably better mileage by just reducing the engine size.

In other cases, car manufacturers are producing hybrid vehicles that use added energy as provided by the hybrid systems to cause the vehicle to boost its power, rather than improve the fuel efficiency. Boosting the power may then add as one of the benefits of hybrid electric cars.
Robert Wilson has worked with electric cars for several decades, and he feels certain that within ten years electric powered cars will represent the biggest part of the global new car sale.

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