What’s a hybrid vehicle?
A hybrid car has two motors, a combustion engine and an electric motor. There are two types:
1. Hybrid vehicle
- Equipped with a battery for increased autonomy
- The gas engine and electric motor work together to drive the wheels
- Hybrid vehicles can’t be plugged in: the battery is charged by the gas engine and through braking (regenerative braking).
2. Plug-in hybrid vehicle
- Equipped with a plug-in battery that can be charged through the electric grid
- If needed, the internal combustion engine can act as a generator for the battery and compensate for low power
Now that you know the basics, you probably have a million questions about these vehicles, right? There are many preconceived notions out there about hybrids, so let’s clear up some of the myths.
Myth 1: Hybrid vehicles are always more expensive.
With the growing demand for this type of vehicle, manufacturers are adapting, products are multiplying and competition is growing—to your benefit! For example, the Toyota Prius C has a base price of $23,190, while the Ford C-Max starts at $24,044, which is competitive for the technology in that segment. What’s more, the savings in gas and maintenance costs are quite significant from year to year when compared with similar-class gas powered vehicles.
Myth 2: Hybrid cars don’t really make that much of a difference for the environment
Because hybrid vehicles use less gas, they emit less CO2 in the atmosphere than gas-powered vehicles in the same class thereby significantly reducing urban smog.
Myth 3: Hybrid vehicles don’t perform as well and are less reliable.
The electric motors used for plug-in hybrid vehicles are different in that they have exceptional acceleration power. The technology for these vehicles is constantly improving and has been road tested under all types of conditions. Some manufacturers, like Toyota, are already on their third or fourth generation of hybrids.
Myth 4: Hybrid cars aren’t built to last.
The gas engine in a hybrid car doesn’t work all the time, which slows wear. The brakes are supported by an electromagnetic system that reduces premature wear. Did you know that the Toyota Prius is ranked among the 10 best cars to get to 200,000 miles and beyond by Consumer Reports? And when it comes to repairs, replacement parts are becoming more affordable, especially since hybrids have been gaining popularity.
Myth 5: The batteries in hybrid vehicles need to be replaced often.
Quite the contrary! Hybrid batteries are designed to last many years, even as long as the car itself. Manufacturer warranties cover the battery life for a long period, up to 10 years for Toyota.
5 myths debunked about Hybrid vehicles
Are you thinking about trading in your old gas guzzler for a more eco-friendly ride? Hybrid vehicles are a great compromise between a traditional gas car and a fully electric model. Hybrid options are becoming increasingly popular because they combine energy efficiency and autonomy. Viewed by some as the vehicle of the future, and by some as something out of a sci-fi movie, hybrids definitely deserve a closer look.
These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and Desjardins Insurance cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.
In Quebec, Desjardins Insurance refers to Desjardins General Insurance Inc. In Ontario and Alberta, Desjardins Insurance refers to Certas Direct Insurance Company, underwriter of automobile and property insurance.