Shopping For a Hybrid? Remember These Tips

Buying a hybrid or HEV can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. If you aren’t a hybrid expert yet, these tips may help alleviate a little bit of the confusion and the “hybrid” term though hides several possible meanings, but generally these types of vehicles split into two groups: HEVs hybrid electric vehicles and PHEVs plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. Before buying, you should ask yourself a few questions. Where do you typically drive the most? Farmlands or in the city? A hybrid car will let you save 30-70% of your fuel cost compared to its gasoline counterpart. The range is wide because it varies from model to model as well as your driving style and route. You can expect to save more if most of your commute is intra-city and involves traffic jams.

A hybrid electric vehicle gets the most of their power from the regular internal combustion engine. When needed, an extra boost of power can be obtained from the electric motor. The power required for the electric motor to work is generated “on the go” and stored in the battery, so it does not need to be plugged in to be functional. The electric motor also acts as a generator, converting energy from regenerative braking and storing it in the battery.

A plug-in electric hybrid vehicle works in a similar way to the HEV. They are also fitted with an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors. Unlike HEVs, this type of hybrid gets most of itspower from the electric motor, which acts as the primary source, while the internal combustion one acts as back-up. True to its name, the PHEV needs a power outlet to get the battery charged to full capacity. Then, as the battery gets low on power, the internal combustion engine kicks in and takes over, at the same time recharging the battery. When the battery is depleted, the plug-in hybrid will act as a regular hybrid, with the combustion engine taking the role of primary power source. These opposite primary and back-up power sources are the main differences.

When shopping for a hybrid, you will want to compare different things. Safety has always been a concern among buyers because critics have said from the beginning that there was danger of accidents that could damage the batteries in a way that might lead to a chemical spill or electric shocks. Generally, however, hybrids are as safe as gasoline-powered vehicles and such accidents have not been reported. In addition, manufacturers say they have taken steps to educate emergency responders so they can help accident victims without risking injury.

Looking for luxury? Most full hybrids are offered with high-tech features like automatic climate control, navigation systems, an iPod interface, keyless start systems and Bluetooth capability. To save a little more money however, the basic versions have fewer electronics and focus solely on fuel mileage instead.

Buying a new vehicle is never a walk in the park but being informed, prepared and knowing what you want going in can only help. Once you purchase a hybrid vehicle, maintenance is easy but vital for the complex systems involved and it deserves the expertise of a hybrid repair shop. Visit our website to learn about our hybrid repair services  and hybrid certifications.The latest developments in terms of technology in the automotive industry are exciting. Our hybrid experts hope you enjoy being a part of it.