A hybrid vehicle is the combination of two different engine types, which are a conventional gas engine and an electric motor. The combination gives you the benefits of both kinds of fuel. Additional hybrid advantages range from financial bonuses to performance improvements. Here are the features and benefits of owning a hybrid car.

Lower Fuel Costs

One of the best benefits of owning a hybrid car is the amount of money that you’ll save at the pump. Many hybrid owners enjoy driving around town in a vehicle that can get 50 miles per gallon like the Toyota Prius. If you have a long commute, then this feature is especially tempting. When you’re driving around in a car that offers a high level of efficiency, it takes the sting out of taking on a car payment.

A hybrid is also the perfect choice if you frequently make your way to and from work in bumper-to-bumper traffic since this type of car often travels solely on battery power at reduced speeds. If you drop the speed to below cruising in many hybrid vehicles, then the cars automatically switch over to electric power. Some models run on electric power for certain distances. For instance, if you drive more than 40 miles, then the car will switch to gas power after you’ve traveled that far.

Immediate Torque

If you’re the type of hybrid buyer who considers horsepower and torque before making a purchase, you’ll appreciate the torque that comes with some models. For instance, the 2019 Lexus ES delivers 267 pound-feet of torque, which makes it extremely pleasant to drive. The reason why is that electric motors provide their highest torque thrust immediately. This means that you don’t have to wait for the hybrid’s motor to power up since all of its pound-feet propels the car forward the second that you press down on the accelerator. Most hybrid models are easily able to stay with the flow of traffic.

Features and benefits of owning a hybrid vehicleLower Emissions

Not only are hybrid vehicles frugal when it comes to decreasing how much you’re spending for fuel, but they’re also thrifty with the amount of emissions that they produce. They release less greenhouse gases into the environment than cars that operate on gasoline. Hybrid vehicles work to keep the air clean. They are especially welcome in urban areas where traffic jams occur frequently enough that they produce smog due to the combination of pollutants in the air.

Some states don’t require you to take hybrids in for annual emission tests due to their decreased release of greenhouse gases. This saves you time and money.

Tax Incentives

When you purchase a hybrid, you’ll likely spend more for it initially than you would if you decided to buy a car with a gas engine. Hybrids cost more because of the additional technologies included in their research, manufacturing and production. To ease the up-front cost, the federal government has established several tax incentives. These tax credit programs encourage many buyers to purchase hybrid vehicles.

Along with federal programs, some states offer additional incentives. For instance, you may be able to get a registration discount as well as an excise tax reduction. Your hybrid may even qualify you for an income tax rebate that will provide you with another financial motive to purchase one. Before making the decision to buy a hybrid or a gas-fueled vehicle, look into your area’s incentives and rebates.

Availability

Along with immediate torque, some hybrid vehicles come with plenty of power. These days, there is an entire class of hybrid cars that are considered high-performance vehicles. High-performance hybrids are generally in the luxury segment, but the Honda CR-Z is a more affordable hybrid that performs well. It takes advantage of the electron power to improve its acceleration instead of conserving fuel. Lexus, Porsche and BMW manufacture hybrid vehicles that come with ample speed and pickup power due to their specific design features.

Features and benefits of owning a hybrid vehicleAccess to the HOV Lane

A work carpool is a great way to save gas. When you participate in a carpool, you’re also decreasing the stress of commuting and reducing the number of cars on the road. If you’ve ever been stuck in traffic driving solo while vehicles speed past you in the HOV lane, then it’s likely that you’ve experienced feelings of envy. Some areas allow you to use the HOV lane if you have a hybrid vehicle even if you’re commuting solo. Hybrid owners are given this driving advantage because of the reduced amount of pollution that their vehicles emit.

Lack of Idling

To keep the air clean, many cities now have zones in which idling is not permitted. These designated areas are in place for a good reason. When you keep your car idling, it contributes to the development of air pollution and smog. It also wastes fuel.

Most hybrids don’t idle using the gas motor. Once the vehicle comes to a stop, the technology in the vehicle shuts the gas engine off to save fuel and eliminate emissions. At this point, the battery is turned on, ensuring that you and your passengers still have access to the stereo system, seat heaters and air until you increase the speed enough to need the power that’s available from the gas motor. This combination means that you’ll have a vehicle that operates with greater efficiency while it emits less pollution.

Value Retention

Hybrid vehicles maintain their values better than gas-only vehicles. The reason they do is because there are fewer of them available on the used market. When people purchase a hybrid, they generally keep the vehicle. The combination of less supply and more demand means that buying a hybrid is a good long-term investment for you; when you do decide to sell the vehicle, you will receive more for it.

Dependability

If you’re hesitating to purchase a hybrid because you’re worried about dependability, don’t give it a second thought. It’s easy to have concerns that a hybrid will give you more trouble because of the added technology and the battery, but vehicle rating sites have determined that hybrids are reliable. Agencies like J.D. Power and U.S. News & World Report typically award hybrid vehicles with high reliability ratings.

Like all things car-related, you can expect to replace your hybrid’s battery, but most batteries consistently operate at full capacity for at least 10 years.

Better Driving Habits

Most people don’t drive professionally, which means that many of us have formed driving habits that cause us to use more gas than what’s needed. Hybrid cars often feature a driving system that rewards you with better fuel economy when you ease up on the gas and prepare to use the brakes ahead of stopping instead of zipping from light to light while slamming on the brakes. Learning how to drive more efficiently will save you money while driving a hybrid.

Hybrid vehicles come with many benefits. They are not only cheaper to operate, but they also put less contaminants into the air. You’ll appreciate the high performance and quietness of a hybrid vehicle.