How does a hybrid car work and is worth it?
Maybe you’re an eco-conscious person, maybe you just want to be fuel-efficient, or even if you just want to be part of the new trend… You’re awesome!
Whatever the reason, you are now driving a hybrid car. We, the Volts Chicago crew, salute you!
Regarding the rest, there is still a chance…if you keep reading.
In this first article of our new amazing blog, we try to answer the most common question one might have related to hybrid cars: are they worth it???!!!
The short answer is yes! The long one, is YEEESSS…
Jokes aside, I will now try to answer the question.
1. Hybrid cars are fuel-efficient
While slightly more expensive compared to some of the regular cars, hybrids are definitely the right choice if you want to go the same distance on less fuel. It makes even more difference if you frequently are in stop-and-go traffic. The tax incentive in the U.S. is another powerful motive.
A hybrid car is around 30% more fuel-efficient than a conventional car because it has 2 motors:
- A gasoline engine
- An electric motor powered by a high voltage rechargeable battery
To find out more read in detail about how does the EPA measures fuel economy
2. Hybrid cars are environmentally friendly
The vehicle switches between the electric and gas motors and as a result of this a hybrid lowers the environmental impact by improving the MPG ratio. On average, hybrid cars cut 20% of the emissions compared with conventional cars.
However, the MPG depends on other factors too, such as your driving style and – to some degree – how the motors are connected.
There are three common hybrid types in use today:
- Parallel Hybrids – either of the motors can generate the driving and are the least efficient option.
- Series Hybrids – the gasoline engine powers the electric motor which generates the driving and is a moderately efficient option.
- Series-Parallel Hybrids – have two electric motors/generators and are a very efficient option.
To get a better understanding of the concept, let’s take a look at what happens when one drives a Prius:
- At low speed – it uses the electric motor
- At normal speed – it uses the gasoline engine
- At heavy acceleration – it uses a combination of the two motors, made possible because of the power-split transmission
3. Hybrid cars require less frequent maintenance
The electric motor recharges the battery via regenerative (aka regen) braking, regaining the energy that would have otherwise been lost through the conventional friction braking.
This is why a hybrid’s brake pads last much longer under normal driving conditions.
A hybrid car does not have an alternator. Instead, a hybrid is using a DC to DC converter to recharge the 12 V auxiliary battery using energy from the hybrid battery.
People worry that hybrid vehicles are more expensive to maintain, when – in fact -they save money by requiring less frequent maintenance.
The hybrid battery and the 2 motors, as well as other electronics, need no maintenance in the first few years. The batteries will eventually require maintenance or replacement, but it is not uncommon for them to last over 250 000 miles. There are other factors that affect their life, but more on this subject in a future post.
4. We are awesome too! You can rely on us to take care of your hybrid battery in an expertly manner
At Volts Chicago, we do our best to take care of the high voltage battery which is the heart of your hybrid car.
Our offer includes new and reconditioned high-quality hybrid battery packs at less than 50% off the dealer price. We stand by our 3-year warranty and, in the event of a problem, we will make it right or refund your money. Guaranteed.
At Volts Chicago we care for the environment and on that note our hybrid battery replacement process ends with recycling the faulty cells.