In recent times, hybrid and electric cars have become quite popular thanks to increased availability to markets worldwide. Besides, electric vehicles are getting more positive press in terms of public perception, immensely contributing to their uptake. There are plenty of reasons car enthusiasts are increasingly deciding to go hybrid, including the need for more efficient vehicles and limiting the use of fossil fuels.
While hybrid cars have been around for quite some time (invented in 1900), there are lots of myths and misconceptions surrounding them, including how they function. Moreover, most people are easily bogged down in the technical jargon of hybrid cars. Read on to find out the common myths and misconceptions surrounding hybrid cars. We’ve debunked these myths to help you learn the right facts and appreciate the benefits of hybrids.
What is a Hybrid Car and How Do They Work?
Hybrid cars are vehicles that combine electric motors with traditional diesel or petrol engines. Contrary to the common perception, hybrid cars are not electrical cars since they have a petrol engine.
Hybrids have both a combustion engine and an electric motor. There are four types of hybrid cars, and each works slightly differently from the other. These are:
In parallel hybrid cars, the petrol engine and electric motor are integrated to work in unison to power the car. However, the petrol engine does most of the work while the electric motor simply offers a boost.
Series Hybrid Cars
In series hybrid cars, an electrical motor is used to drive the wheels while the petrol engine powers a generator used to charge the battery. The petrol engine never propels the car; instead, it generates energy for the electric motor.
Series Parallel Hybrids
Series parallel hybrids are a combination of parallel and series hybrid cars. The car can be driven purely by an electric motor, petrol, or a combination of both. The battery is also charged by the petrol engine, just like in series hybrid cars.
Plug-in Hybrid Cars
Plug-in hybrid cars, also referred to as PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle), is an improvement of hybrid cars, making them closer to an electric car. The battery can either be charged by a petrol engine or can be plugged into an external power source like a charging station. PHEVs have a more powerful battery compared to standard hybrids thus can cover distances purely on battery power.
5 Most Common Myths about Hybrid Cars
Myth #1: Hybrids are a New, Unexplored Technology
New technology is often met with rejection as many people don’t easily trust new or unfamiliar technology. The myth that hybrids are a new and untested technology is predominant among the masses. However, this is false. Hybrid vehicles were invented by Ferdinand Porsche and Jacob Lohner in 1900. But it wasn’t until 1997 that hybrid vehicles (Toyota Prius) were produced in masses for the mainstream market. Since then, millions of hybrid models have been sold across the globe, with the technology undergoing continuous improvements and innovation. The fact is hybrid technology is not a new concept and has been around for ages getting the endorsement of environmentalists.
Myth #2: Hybrids Are More Difficult To Drive than Conventional Vehicles
Another myth surrounding hybrids is that they are more challenging to drive compared to conventional vehicles. For most people, driving a hybrid car involves changing from electric to gas mode manually while driving, thus making them difficult to drive. However, this is untrue. Driving a hybrid vehicle is similar to driving any other car. There isn’t any difference, no extra functionalities, or complicated operating steps. Manufacturers have tried to make hybrid cars as simple as possible. Hybrids switch from gas to electric or vice versa automatically and you won’t even realize it.
Myth #3: Hybrids Cars are Very Expensive
Most people often overlook the price of hybrid cars, assuming that they are quite expensive compared to standard models. However, this isn’t always the case. Hybrid technology has evolved over the years, with the cars increasingly going mainstream increasing the supply. As a result, hybrid vehicles are competitively priced and are available at a wide range of price points accommodating low-income households. While some models are pricey, most are available at really affordable price points similar to traditional gasoline or diesel vehicles. Better yet, some countries offer tax incentives on the purchase of hybrid or electric vehicles, thus can even be more affordable than traditional vehicles.
Myth #4: Hybrid Cars Spare Parts are Not Easily Available
When buying a car, it’s common to consider spare parts’ availability in case of damages or mechanical troubles. Most people think that hybrid cars’ spare parts are not readily available or that they need to be taken to specialized repair shops. However, this perception is wrong. Hybrid cars are just like any other vehicle; therefore, their spare parts are widely available and can be serviced or repaired in any vehicle repair shop. For instance, you can shop for the windshield, side window, and rear window replacement for a hybrid car at glass.net and have it installed by a professional.
Myth #5: Hybrid Cars Need to be Plugged in
This is one of the most prevalent myths surrounding the functioning of hybrid cars. Hybrid cars are often confused with electric cars in the sense that both have to be plugged in. However, this is untrue. Unlike electric vehicles, hybrid cars run on two power sources, a petrol motor and an electric motor powered by a battery. Depending on the type, the electric motor is either powered by a battery charged by regenerative braking or a generator powered by a gasoline engine. When moving, it can use power from the gas engine or the electric motor (or sometimes one or the other). This leads to lower fuel consumption and reduced greenhouse gases emission. Please note that PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) batteries can either be charged by a petrol engine or can be plugged into an external power source like a charging station.
The myths and misconception surrounding hybrid cars have significantly hampered their mainstream adoption. However, more people are embracing these vehicles thanks to their low operation cost and environmental friendliness. Now that you know the real truth about hybrid cars, it may be time to consider getting one and start enjoying their immense benefits.