5 Common Hybrid Car Myths
By Bumblebee Batteries
New technology is often a source of confusion simply because, well its new. As is the case with new technology and change in general, few people know and understand all the facts. It’s human to get caught up in the exaggerated stories generated by the natural tendency to allow misconceptions to fill in the blanks.
Following are 5 of the most common hybrid car myths. Find out which ones are fact and which ones are fiction.
Hybrid Car Myth #1: Car will stall if battery runs down
False – The myth is that the batteries may run down while driving somewhere and the car will stall. Dashboard controls will let you know your battery life. Depending on the type of hybrid you drive this is handled in more than one way.
One example is, the process of regenerative braking protects drivers from stalling if the battery is low and runs down. While braking, the kinetic energy lost is converted to the electric motor and thereby charges the batteries on a continual basis, even while the car is in motion.
Myth #2: Hybrid cars get 3 to 4 times the MPG of a gas-powered car
True – Especially if you know what is most efficient for your hybrid. While they do get better gas mileage, hybrid cars do not boast dramatic improvements in gas efficiency over conventional cars, for the most part. Most hybrid cars can get up to triple or even quadruple the mpg that conventional gas cars get if driven optimally in your region and terrain. What really makes the mpg stretch further is the fact that for hybrids, gas isn’t used for all aspects of the driving. Fuel efficiency can also be gained by driving slower, maintaining constant speeds, and avoiding abrupt stops.
Hybrid Car Myth #3: You Need to Plug in a Hybrid Car.
False – This is a common misconception. For whatever reason, many people believe that because the word “electricity” is associated with hybrid cars that they require plugging in. Hybrid cars can capture and re-use energy that is usually lost when the car stops or slows down. This captured energy is sent back to the rechargeable battery of the car to recharge it.
Additionally, the gas engine in the hybrid car can also transfer energy to the rechargeable batteries.
However, there are electric hybrid vehicles which do require plugging in. They are increasing in popularity and often produce no CO2 as emissions. These are electric vehicles and not a ‘hybrid’ as we have known hybrid vehicles.
There are cars that require plugging in, these plug-in hybrids or pure electric cars allow for drivers to perform city driving without utilizing gasoline at all.
Myth #4: Hybrids are Expensive
False – This is a common misconception among hybrid car myths. Many people mistakenly believe that all hybrids are considerably more expensive than standard fuel burning vehicles. When hybrids were very new in the 1990’s they were initially a higher priced vehicle. As increasing numbers of hybrid cars have been produced, the range in pricing of these vehicles have decreased and performance and different models have increased.
With numerous models of hybrids available on the market, the Toyota Prius and the Honda Insight are two of the most affordable hybrid options. The average sticker price of these two hybrid vehicles cost less than $30,000. As even more hybrid vehicle solutions are developed, we can expect to have less expensive options over time.
Hybrid Car Myth #5: Hybrid Cars are not only small but they are also underpowered
False – The initial thought for people who think of hybrid cars immediately think of the slow and sputtering vehicles that may have begun the hybrid car movement. Hybrid cars have come a long way since then. Currently there is a considerably wider selection available to those looking to adapt to this new technology. So, another falsehood among hybrid car myths.
Hybrid cars are no longer limited to one or two brands; rather, most big name brands offer a hybrid vehicle. Among these cars are the Toyota Highlander Hybrid and the Lexus RX400h. Both of these vehicles offer a 270 horsepower system. Additionally for those looking for more power, the Lexus GS 450h hybrid sedan has more than 300 horsepower with the ability to go from 0 to 60 in just 6 seconds!
As for the size of hybrid cars, while the majority of hybrids are compact; however, as development continues, an increasing number of hybrid SUV’s are becoming popular as well.
Due to drivers in the United States preference for larger vehicles, the hybrid market is adapting to include more choices for the market.