These cars that combine different propulsion systems offer many advantages, but also one or another disadvantage that should be known if we want to establish which the best hybrid car is.
It is commonplace to hear “hybrids are the cars of the future”. The truth is that the hybrid is not the car of the future… It is a reality in the 21st century.
The technology that makes possible the existence of this type of cars has been developed in order to generate a transition stage that will lead us in the not too distant future, to use cars that do not need fossil fuels.
There are many reasons to do without fossil fuels:
- the imminent depletion of these resources;
- the environmental impact they produce;
- climate change;
- the search for more efficient alternatives;
What are the advantages of hybrid vehicles compared to diesel-dependent cars? Do they have disadvantages?
Advantages and disadvantages of hybrid cars
Low energy consumption
The hybrid car combines an electric combustion engine with the traditional internal combustion engine.
As a general rule, the car uses its electrical energy reserve in low speed journeys, where braking and starting are frequent. When there is a lack of power, on ascent or on the road, the petrol engine supports the vehicle’s propulsion.
The hybrid car’s electric batteries are recharged by braking energy or by connecting them to the electric grid. Of course, the consumption of petrol or diesel is lower than that of a conventional vehicle.
CO2 emissions are measured in grams per kilometre travelled. The average in Spain is 148 grams. Some cars, without being hybrids, use Eco engines achieving emissions of 98 grams… This is an excellent result for the planet.
However, the best hybrid car on the Spanish streets will hardly reach 70 grams of CO2 emissions. That is to contribute to the care of the earth. This only advantage would be enough to consider the exclusive use of these cars.
Low maintenance costs
To the extent that less use is made of the internal combustion engine, the maintenance and repair costs of a hybrid car will be lower compared to a 100 per-cent gas dependent car.
It is estimated that the maintenance of a hybrid car, in the first year of operation, is 45% lower than that of a traditional car. This figure increases progressively over the years.
What are the disadvantages in the use of hybrid cars?
This technology still has some drawbacks. Even the best hybrid car, making use of its electric alternative, cannot offer the performance, speed and power of a conventional vehicle. This is perhaps the main objection driver’s encounter.
Let’s look at other disadvantages.
The initial cost
Hybrid cars are the result of technology that is still in development. For manufacturers, the design and construction of this type of vehicle involves high costs in research and development, which given the small number of units sold must be absorbed by end users.
Of course, this high initial cost gets a return on investment in time, thanks to low fuel consumption and low maintenance costs.
The low consumption of hybrid cars, compared to internal combustion vehicles, means that the electricity supply network is still scarce, which is why autonomy, especially on the road, is an inconvenience for the users of these cars.
In the city this is a problem that can be easily solved, thanks to the multiple sources of electrical energy available. On average, the autonomy of a car in its electric version is only 3 hours.
Although the protection of the environment is one of the great virtues of the system, the disposition of the batteries, once their useful life has ended, becomes another problem. It is similar to the final disposal of mobile phone batteries, for example.
For the time being, hybrid car batteries are not reusable. The automotive industry is working to develop longer-lasting, longer-life, disposable batteries.