14 April 2016 · Buyer Advice
Understanding Hybrid Cars | Phil Gilbert Toyota
Over the last five years, Hybrid cars have made their presence felt in the automotive marketplace. As the technology continues to improve, hybrid cars have become more and more affordable, offering a more economical and environmentally friendly option for drivers in Australia.
Here is a short guide to help you understand what hybrid cars are all about from the team at Phil Gilbert Toyota.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEVs) explained
In short, Hybrid cars combine the benefits of a petrol or diesel engine found in most cars with the benefits of an electric motor. Combining the two creates a vehicle that is more energy efficient and more environmentally friendly.
The main advantage of Hybrid cars comes for drivers who are more likely to spend most of their time driving short distances around a city or built up area. The electric motor is ideal for short distances and for driving in an environment where a driver would stop and accelerate often. The hybrid then switches to its petrol or diesel engine for long distances.
The technology today for batteries in electric cars is too heavy and expensive, but manufacturers are on their way to build affordable solutions. In the meantime, Hybrid cars are able to gain more traction by combining the two and by looking like regular cars at an affordable price.
Types of Hybrids
There are a number of hybrids available on the market today including full hybrids and the plug-in Hybrid. The poster child for the full Hybrids, the Toyota Prius takes full advantage of combining the electric motor with the gas engine. Full Hybrids are able to run on electricity alone for short distances, but also offer drivers the freedom of switching to a gas engine if they wish to travel longer distances or at a higher speed.
Plug in Hybrids feature the ability to be charged from a plug. When the car is fully charged, a plug in hybrid is able to act as a fully electronic car for the duration of the battery charge until turning into a regular hybrid once needed. Recharging the batteries allows the car to maximize its electricity use for the first twenty to fifty kilometers. Fully electric cars are still looking to breakthrough due to their finite battery storage and longer recharge times. On the other hand, they are starting to appeal city families that drive less than fifty kilometers a day.
Contrary to popular beliefs, the maintenance needs for hybrid cars are similar to regular cars that use gas engines only. The batteries in the Toyota Hybrids have been tested to be very reliable and are able to reach more than three hundred thousand kilometers. And, it’s worth remembering that although the parts for hybrid cars are slightly more expensive, they don’t need to be replaced as often.
Hybrid cars have a reputation for being more environmentally friendly than their gas engine counterparts. This is due to the fact that hybrid cars have a lower fuel consumption, are more efficient while driving in a city, and produce fewer gas emissions. On average, compact hybrid cars produce 10% fewer smog-producing emissions than regular compact cars, and the percentage increases the larger the vehicle is.
Visit Phil Gilbert Toyota to test drive the range of Toyota Hybrids available in Croydon and Lidcombe including the Camry Hybrid, the Toyota Prius, the Toyota Prius C, and the Toyota Prius V.