The Facts on Hybrid vs. Gas Vehicles
Everyone wants better fuel mileage, but at what cost? There are many factors to consider, but personal driving style and needs ultimately determine which will best meet the requirements of each owner. Here are the top considerations for any consumer wondering: gas or hybrid?
More Driving Vs. Less Driving
Most hybrid vehicles save hundreds of dollars a year in fuel costs compared to their gas counterparts. For those looking to make the most environmentally sound decision, fuel-efficient vehicles do cut carbon emissions. However, if the owner drives less than 7,500 miles a year, the extra cost up-front for a hybrid may not offset the amount he or she saves in fuel. So a hybrid car makes better sense for a high-mileage driver.
City Driving Vs. Highway Driving
If the owner spends a lot of time getting around a city in stop-and-go traffic, then a hybrid car comes out on top. Hybrids recharge batteries by braking and turn off the engine automatically at lights or in traffic to save energy. Gas engines are least efficient in low-speed driving conditions, so some hybrid motors use the electric component to drive at lower speeds. But if the owner takes long trips on the open road, a gas or diesel engine may outperform the hybrid.
The Hybrid Premium
If the owner drives in cities or traffic frequently, the savings from fuel efficiency will eventually pay off. However, if he or she drives mostly on the highway, or doesn’t drive often, it will take much longer to make back the premium paid for a hybrid. On average, hybrids cost several thousands of dollars more, and annual savings on fuel will be a fraction of that cost.
The list of pros and cons is long, each tipping the outcome of the consumer’s balance sheet. For example, some insurance companies offer lower rates for hybrids, and people in hybrids are 25% less likely to get injured in a crash. However, recent data also shows that hybrids are 20% more likely to be involved in a pedestrian crash because they are much quieter. Another cost factor is that gas vehicles are more common and easier to repair because their parts may be less expensive to replace than hybrid parts.
Metro Honda, a New Jersey-based dealer with factory-trained technicians and express service, can provide more information about hybrid vs. gas vehicles, and has many options to choose from on-site.