Things You Need to Know Before Switching to a Hybrid

illustration

If you’ve been to a gas station lately, chances are that you were dismayed by the gas price. While the prices don’t seem to be heading south anytime soon, it’s worth considering alternatives. The fuel price can dent anyone’s monthly budget, especially those who drive daily. Yet, there are some things that you should know before making this switch. Learn more below.

Battery vs Gas

Hybrid vehicles might be more expensive on the price tag (about 20%, typically), yet it receives many more government incentives than regular cars. The reason behind the incentives is to promote more sustainable vehicles. Also, fully recharging an EV is much cheaper than filling a tank. Better still, it can be done from home with the proper gear.

Your Needs

Knowing what you need is half of the battle. You may find EVs with different mileage and fuel efficiency. So, calculate how many kilometres your new hybrid will have to cover daily. Also, notice that this number may change during the coldest days of the winter. In temperatures below zero, the engine’s performance decreases by about 30%.

Under such conditions, engines must work harder and longer to maintain their optimal temperature and functioning, which means less fuel efficiency. Hybrid engines might feel a harsher blow here than gas engines, as the cold weather also affects the batteries, which work much better in hotter temperatures.

Acceleration and Braking

If it’s your first time driving a hybrid, you’ll need a little time to adapt, as acceleration and braking feel pretty different. Transmissions are primarily of the CVT type. The acceleration might feel slower in some models, which is compensated by much higher fuel efficiency.

Braking works differently in this case, as most hybrids use regenerative braking. Regenerative braking means using the car’s inertia to generate and store extra energy in the battery. While some drivers complain that the pedals don’t feel the same, and even braking efficiency could be better, newer models have those problems fixed.

Different Sounds

If you’re one of those drivers that know every pitch of their rides, be ready to relearn everything. Although the electric propulsion start is nearly noiseless, you might hear the engine humming louder as you drive. Noise insulation is quite heavy, and making the interior completely silent would have a cost on fuel efficiency.

Environmental Concerns

From a perspective of fuel consumption, hybrids are undoubtedly eco-friendlier. They rely much less on gas, putting less pressure on the fossil fuels market. Yet, they’re not as green as we all would like. The U.S. Department of Energy published a study showing that EVs, hybrids, and regular cars have similar greenhouse gas emissions: about 200g per kilometre.