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“A hybrid car is a car which can run on two or more fuel sources.” Basically are two different types of hybrids: the Gas powered money savers and the Electric cars. The gas version model is actually driven by a unique specialized gas engine while the electric hybrid includes a chargeable battery, just the way you remote control the toy cars you possessed as a child. Hybrid cars are basically cars that use two or more sources of power for locomotion. While a car with internal combustion engine is powered by gasoline (fuel) and an electric car is powered by high-voltage batteries on board, a hybrid car uses both – gasoline (fuel) and batteries, for the same. Though most of the hybrid variants in production today use the combination of internal combustion engine (ICE) and a battery operated electric system for power generation, there are some hybrid vehicles which are powered by alternative sources such as liquid nitrogen, solar power, etc. Hybrid cars have become quite popular over the last few years, such that they are being pitched as the best replacements for conventional cars which are ill–famed for their effects on the environment These facts about hybrid cars can help you make an informed decision whether to go for a hybrid car.  

 Hybrid Cars Pros and Cons

The technology behind hybrid cars are environmental friendly that need not necessarily mean it will be ideal for you. The high cost incurred in production of hybrid vehicles happens to be a major drawback of this technology. If low emissions can make you opt for a hybrid car, the price factor can make you reconsider the same.   Hybrid Cars Pros Environment Friendly  By far, the biggest benefit of using hybrid cars is your contribution to the environment. Conventional cars are notorious for the environmental pollution they cause by releasing harmful greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide, into the atmosphere. By using environment-friendly hybrid cars, which boast of low emissions, you actually keep a check on the damage caused to the environment. The plug-in hybrids are considered to be the best as they use electrical system as the primary source of power, while internal combustion engine is used as a backup for electrical system. Efficient Use of Resources The price of crude oil in the international market has increased manifolds owing to the ever-increasing demand and limited supply of the same. This, in turn, has resulted in Fuel, as well as other products obtained from crude oil, becoming a lot more expensive than what they were a decade ago. With fuel price increasing by the day, using alternative sources, such as electricity, has become a much more viable option. More importantly, modern hybrids are designed in such a manner that the energy which is otherwise wasted in braking is stored in the high-voltage batteries on board, and put to use car to power the car. Efficient Performance Internal combustion engine and electrical system both have their own drawbacks. Using a vehicle with internal combustion engine in a city, wherein you have to brake and idle the vehicle frequently, results is waste of fuel. In hybrid cars, you can switch between these two sources of power as per your requirement, i.e. use the electrical system when driving slow in the city and switch to internal combustion engine when cruising on the highway, and that gives them an edge on their fuel-powered counterparts.     Hybrid Cars Cons As impressive as the mentioned benefits of hybrid vehicles may seem, even these vehicles have its draw backs. Given below are the details of various disadvantages of using a hybrid car. Hybrids are Costly Among the various cons of hybrid cars, the most prominent one is the fact that these cars are priced heavily. Their high price can be attributed to the fact that they come with costly high-voltage batteries and two engines on board. Low Resale Value Though these cars are quite costly, their resale value is quite low. If you plan to sell your hybrid after a few years, the same is less likely to fetch you a price that a conventional car would. The costly high-voltage batteries used in these cars have to be replaced after a regular interval, and that is a major hindrance when it comes to their resale value. Use of Batteries is Risky Critics of hybrid cars also highlight that the use of these high-voltage batteries in cars can turn out to be disastrous in case of accidents. NOTE: While this problem doesn’t affect modern hybrids, wherein batteries are designed to go off in case of an accident, you need to take a note of the same if you are buying an old model.   These are some of the most prominent hybrid cars pros and cons that have to be taken into consideration when opting for a hybrid.

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This article was first published on 3rd July 2012 and updated on July 5th, 2012 at 9:28 am

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