It’s no secret that hybrid engines are becoming more and more popular. Visit any major city in the US or the UK and you’ll see hybrid motors dominating the roads. The biggest change is coming in our taxi services. You may have noticed the sheer number of cabs that are now powered by hybrid engines. This is all down to a big shift in green thinking. As a driver, you may have found yourself wondering whether a hybrid car would work for you. The simple answer is: yes, almost certainly.
Hybrid motoring is no longer a distant dream. It is not an anomaly or a future concept. It is the necessary reality. They are the future of driving. Not only that, but hybrid cars are now some of the best cars on the road. Quite simply, in ten years, all new cars will be hybrid designs.
It’s been now many years since Toyota released its iconic Prius worldwide. This was a huge step forward for green technology and hybrid engines. However, at first, it was almost a novelty. It was a nice idea, but it wasn’t particularly practical for most drivers. Some began using it for city driving and short journeys. However, they weren’t much good on motorways or long drives. Understandably, it has taken a while to take off.
Nearly 24 years on, the world of hybrids looks very different. Every car manufacturer on the planet has a hybrid car on the road or in production. There are three things pushing this change. The first is public awareness and demand. Environmental awareness is hitting an all time high in our general public. More than ever, we are conscious of the fuel we are burning and the resources we are draining. This is expressed in our driving choices. More people want a greener option.
Secondly, the change is coming from governments. Most world leaders offer tax incentives and insurance breaks to greener drivers. This is to ensure that countries hit their fuel consumption targets set by global treaties. This governmental shift is changing the nature of driving. Finally, the car manufacturers themselves are forcing this change. As a result of the first two points, car manufacturers are racing to find the best hybrid engine. We are leaving petrol engines behind, it’s just a matter of time.
With that in mind, it is essential that you start to consider a hybrid future. If you’re thinking about purchasing a new car, now is the time to consider hybrids. If you’re browsing for a car every day, hunt out the hybrids. This shift to electric motoring is an unstoppable, fundamental shift in driving. Your next car should reflect that. Even if you ignore that fact, there are plenty of immediate benefits to driving a hybrid.
Hybrid cars are actually much simpler machines. The technology sounds futuristic and complicated. In actual fact, the mechanics of a hybrid are far more simple than that of a traditional car. We’ve heard talk of people avoiding hybrids because of their complexity. There are suggestions that they are wildly different to traditional cars. Well, let’s put an end to that myth once and for all.
The first thing to understand is that a hybrid won’t change your driving in any way. You’ll drive the car exactly as you would an ordinary vehicle. The system works in a slightly different way, sure, but the fundamentals of driving don’t change a single bit. You still start the car, change gears and use the accelerator.
Secondly, you just need to understand how the hybrid system works. Sometimes that’s all it takes to settle any worries, and it’s a very simple system. Hybrid cars have two engines. One is an electric motor, the other is a traditional combustion engine. The combustion engine is much smaller than in traditional cars. Its purpose is to support the electric motor. Sometimes the traditional engine will charge the electric motor. In other cases, the traditional engine will take over completely and power the car. This will happen when you overtake or need some additional accelerating power.
As a driver, you needn’t worry about any of this. The car itself makes these decisions for you. It is designed to optimise the two engines and adapt to get the very best mileage. Hybrid cars also use regenerative braking to gather kinetic energy from the brakes. Clever, right?
This engine combination makes hybrid cars incredibly quiet. When starting, they only use the electric motor. This makes for an almost silent start. You’ll never experience vibrations while standing either. Hybrid cars are a much calmer, more relaxed way to drive.
Of course, one of the biggest benefits to driving a hybrid car is the monetary savings. Most hybrid owners will cut their fuel expenditure by half. They save you a fortune when fueling up and you’ll visit the pumps less often. Not only that but hybrid cars incur much lower taxes and running costs. Governmental incentives ensure that hybrid drivers pay low road tax. This makes them a great option for business too. A lot of business are now turning to hybrid fleets for their company cars.
They are reliable too. The simple machinery means that they actually last much longer than traditional engines. Warranties of up to eight years aren’t uncommon in the world of hybrids. You won’t find that with a traditional car. Many drivers have clocked up to 400,000 miles without a single problem.
One of the biggest complaints you hear when it comes to hybrids is the lack of speed and power. Quite simply, this is a myth. This certainly may have been true when the Prius was first launched. But, let’s look at the facts. The fastest lap time at the infamous Nürburgring was set by the Porsche 918 Spyder. A hybrid car. The hybrid Toyota TS030 came second in a grueling Le Mans 24 hours race. This is proof that hybrids are not the slow coaches they once were.
Finally, a hybrid car really does make a difference. It can be difficult to see how we can help the environment when we have such a small impact. However, you need only look at the big picture. Toyota estimates that hybrid cars have saved millions and billions when it comes to carbon dioxide / gallons of fuel.
We are just at the start of this hybrid revolution. Now is the time to start thinking about a hybrid as your next vehicle. If you don’t, you could be left behind.