The Advantages of Hybrid Cars (Aside From Good Fuel Efficiency)
Hybrid cars took the world by storm when Toyota introduced the Prius in 1997.
For a century, almost every vehicle on the road gas-powered. Although many alternatives had been invented and developed over the years, they were not available to most consumers.
The first hybrid car was built in 1899 by Ferdinand Porsche and was called the System Lohner-Porsche Mix. It included a gasoline engine that supplied power to an electric motor. These were well received, but once Henry Ford began to mass-produce his own line of gas-powered cars, Porsche’s vehicle was soon forgotten.
The advantages of hybrid cars are numerous. The Prius was immediately popular and consumers responded favorably to their release. Soon, other brands began making hybrid vehicles and today, 2.4% of the cars on the road in the United States are hybrids.
You’re likely already familiar with the fact that hybrids get great gas mileage, thanks to their combination gasoline and electric engine. However, these environmentally friendly, economic vehicles offer a number of other fantastic benefits, too.
Read on to learn all about hybrids and the reasons you might want to consider a used hybrid next time you are looking for a new-to-you ride.
How Hybrid Cars Work
All hybrid cars have a regular internal combustion engine, an electric motor, and a battery.
The electric motor is powered by the energy stored in the battery. The battery is charged through regenerative braking and, like in a gas-powered car, by the internal combustion engine. Each component of this efficient system depends on the others.
The reason these cars are designed in this way is to increase fuel economy and reduce emissions. When a hybrid vehicle is traveling under 15 mph, it uses only the electric motor for power. Once the threshold of 15 mph is passed, the internal combustion engine takes over.
If a driver accelerates rapidly, the electric motor and the internal combustion engine work together to give the vehicle more power.
When braking the regenerative braking system kicks in. Since the car is slowing down, neither the electric motor nor the internal combustion engine is needed. As the car comes to a halt, the power of the spinning wheels powers the generator and stores the electricity it creates in the battery for future use.
As the car comes to a stop, both the gasoline-powered internal combustion engine and the electric motor turn off. The battery then kicks in to run all of the other car systems like air conditioning, lights, and the radio.
The battery, the internal combustion engine, and the electric motor all work together to create an efficient, collective system that results in an incredible fuel economy. The way these vehicles function is so simple, yet it is so amazing at the same time.
Advantages of Hybrid Cars
There are many reasons why people buy hybrid cars. Of course, most people are drawn to them because even though they cost more upfront, the long-term savings on gasoline is incredible. However, there are many other reasons people love hybrids, too.
1. Low Emissions
If you are someone who cares about the natural environment—and who doesn’t—then a hybrid vehicle is a smart choice. These vehicles produce far fewer emissions and that’s good for the planet.
Do you live in a city with a lot of smog? The Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area is one of the top ten most polluted cities in the country when it comes to air pollution, and if you drive a hybrid, you can rest easy knowing that you are contributing to it far less than most.
Another way these cars help the environment is the fact that they are never idling.
As explained above, once a hybrid vehicle comes to a complete stop, the gas-powered, internal combustion engine shuts down.
At that time, the battery takes over so you can still enjoy your radio and air conditioning while you’re waiting for your passenger to arrive. When you’re ready to go again, the electric motor will get you started, and the gasoline engine will kick into action once you hit 15 mph.
3. High Resale Value
Hybrid cars hold their value better than their gasoline-powered counterparts. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, the relative rarity of these cars puts them in high demand on the used market.
Secondly, though, and more importantly, hybrids are known to be very reliable, and as a result, they can last you for years or even decades. People who love hybrids know this and are willing to pay a little extra for this sort of peace of mind.
4. Tax Incentives
Although you will pay a little more for a hybrid car when you buy it, you will save money in numerous ways down the road. Of course, you will benefit from the excellent fuel economy and you won’t have to add gasoline to your tank very often. Additionally, you can benefit from tax incentives for buying a hybrid.
The federal government has created several income tax credit programs to encourage people to buy hybrids. When you do your taxes at the end of the year, this can save you money or can result in a larger refund for you and your family to enjoy.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to enjoy additional state benefits, too.
5. HOV Lane Access
Have you ever been sitting in your car alone and in traffic at a dead stop while you watch others whip by in the HOV lane? Do you wish you could join them?
Some states allow hybrid vehicles in the HOV lane even if there is only one person in the car. Although this is not yet the case in Washington, many other states like California, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, and others do allow it.
The reason this is the case is the fact that hybrid drivers deserve to benefit from the HOV lane due to their cars’ low emissions. As a result, hybrid drivers can get where they want to go much more rapidly.
There are many advantages of hybrid cars, so it’s no surprise that the people who drive them love them so much. Hybrids are economical and environmentally friendly and they are a wise choice.
If a hybrid sounds right for you, Legend Auto Sales is here to help you. With a variety of used hybrid cars in stock for all lifestyles and price points, we’re sure to have the perfect hybrid for you. View our current hybrid vehicle inventory in the South Seattle area, and send us a message. We’ll be in touch!
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