You might assume that any product with the term “hybrid” connected to it might not be as good as the original. After all, the spork — a hybrid between a spoon and fork — isn’t really preferable to either a spoon or a fork. So what about a hybrid car? If you’re curious about what the benefits of driving a hybrid vehicle might include beyond simply fuel efficiency, we’ve compiled the following list of virtuous qualities.
1. Two Engines Actually Saves Gas
Hybrid cars use at least two engines: a traditional gas (or diesel) engine, and one or more electric engines, which is what makes these cars hybrids. To boil it down to basics, when you’re driving at lower speeds in a hybrid car, an electric engine powers it. When you’re going faster, the gas engine takes over. Thus, when sitting in traffic driving your Ford Fusion Hybrid or Hyundai Sonata Hybrid, you can at least feel better knowing that you’re not wasting expensive gas, as battery power also takes over when idling.
2. They’re Better for the Environment
When your hybrid car is running on its electric engine, it produces fewer carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, which fall under the umbrella of greenhouse gases. The significance? Greenhouse gases are responsible for trapping heat in the atmosphere, which over time can lead to global warming and climate change as carbon dioxide enters the atmosphere when your car burns fossil fuel. Whether you agree with the severity of global warming claims or not, gasoline-powered engines also contribute to air pollution, and there’s no debate that electric engines produce far fewer air pollutants when compared to gas engines.
3. They Have Maximum Torque
Torque in cars is significant because it determines a car’s acceleration and performance. The better (or higher) the torque, the better acceleration you get — which is helpful when it comes to passing that slower driver in front of you. Another benefit of hybrid cars is that they get to their maximum torque upon acceleration, or instant torque, whereas non-hybrid cars need to rev up first. One car that is a particular standout in this area is the Infiniti Q50 Hybrid.
4. Luxury Hybrids Are High-Performance Vehicles
If performance is your number one goal, we won’t jerk you around; most hybrid cars are primarily useful for economy, not necessarily for performance, speed, and handling. However, high-performance hybrid cars do exist. The Porsche Panamera, BMW i8, Acura NSX, and Ferrari LaFerrari are all ultra impressive hybrids when it comes to performance. They are, of course, more expensive compared to their more modest relatives, but it does speak to the potential of hybrid vehicles; proving that hybrids don’t have to be the slower, less cool cousins of conventional cars.
5. Hybrids Hold Value
There are fewer used hybrid cars available compared to gas-only cars. The reason? For one, fewer hybrid cars are in/have been in production, and over the years, people have tended to hang onto their hybrid cars once they buy them. Combine a lack of supply with increasing demand due to their ever increasing popularity, and a hybrid car makes for a good long-term investment, which could come in handy if you ever look to sell.
6. Hybrids Are Reliable
Hybrid cars may not be more reliable than non-hybrid cars, but they’re not exactly less reliable, either. Many people worry that hybrid cars, because of the battery, will give them more trouble than conventional cars. And yes, while the battery in hybrid vehicles won’t last forever, it will typically run at full capacity for at least 10 years. Car rating/ranking agencies, such as J.D. Power and U.S. News & World Report consistently give hybrid cars such as the Toyota Prius and the Lexus CT 200h the high ratings in terms of reliability.