Back when they first arrived on the market over a decade ago, hybrid cars were dismissed as an overly expensive fad that couldn’t compete with traditional gas-powered cars. Time has tested that perception and hybrids are more popular and efficient than ever. If you’ve never considered a hybrid before, there are a lot of great reasons to make the switch today. Let’s look at a few of the many benefits of owning and driving a hybrid car as your everyday vehicle.
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Back when they first came out, hybrids tended to cost several thousand dollars more than their nearest gas-only competitors. The cost disparity between hybrid and traditional cars has only gone down with each year. In many cases, you can expect to pay no more than $1,000 to $2,000 for a hybrid above the cost of the same kind of car in a gas-only model.
What’s more, there are a variety of reasons driving a hybrid offsets the initial price difference and ends up actually being more financially responsible than sticking with traditional cars. What’s even more encouraging is that hybrids tend to maintain a lot of their original value upon resale, turning them into great investments.
A secret about hybrid cars is that they qualify their owners and drivers for tax credits on local and state levels. To spur economic growth and encourage environmental responsibility, many state governments offer tax credits during the first several years of ownership of a hybrid. These credits can save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars over the course of just a few years, eliminating or reducing the higher up-front cost of a hybrid vehicle.
The first big selling point of hybrids remains its most enticing. Hybrid cars use a combination of electric power and gas power to operate, devoting electricity to the motor and as a battery recharger using kinetic energy in the brakes, while gasoline powers the engine. By demanding far less gas than traditional cars, today’s hybrids get as much as 200 miles for every gallon of gas in the tank. As gas prices continue to rise yearly, that level of efficiency is starting to look essential. This is especially the case with larger vehicles that traditionally demand more fuel. For instance, even the most fuel-efficient gas-only SUV on the market today barely manages to get 22 miles per gallon (mpg) average, while the newest hybrid SUV models approach 40 mpg on average.
The classic image of hybrids involves a small vehicle, usually something in the compact or even sub-compact category. That’s definitely not the case anymore. We’ve already pointed out the growing appeal and prevalence of hybrid SUVs, but there are also hybrids in the luxury sedan market, the sporty coupe style and even hybrid-assisted truck models that allow long-standing gas guzzlers to retain all of their power with a jump in fuel economy. In short, the demand for hybrids is going up, which is encouraging car manufacturers to diversify what kinds of hybrids they offer. They’re even more likely today to offer manual transmission hybrids for avid drivers.
One thing a lot of people don’t know about hybrids is that they often test better than their gas-only counterparts in safety ratings. The reasons for this include smarter safety features and overall better weight distribution, allowing for greater stability. Hybrids still have their biggest market among conscientious drivers, often those who have families. These vehicles use features like multi-stage deployment airbags and on-board sensors that leverage the same tech-savvy concepts that drive an interest in hybrid advancement itself.
There’s a lot of reasons to recommend a switch to hybrid vehicles today. It’s financially smart, requires no extra maintenance, and gives you the chance to see all of the latest designs on the market today. If you’ve never considered a hybrid before or if you dismissed hybrids when they first arrived on the scene, now is a great time to reconsider and crunch the numbers on a hybrid of your choice. It may end up being the smartest purchase you make all year.