Hybrid cars

In the past decade or so, hybrid cars have been changing the way people drive and commute. As we begin to consider the environmental impact in everything we do, hybrid and electric cars will continue to gain popularity among drivers — especially those who drive or commute long distances, more often.

So, what is a hybrid car? A hybrid car utilizes both a powerful gas engine and an electric motor for power. In simple terms, this combination power source reduces fuel consumption and emissions much more than that of a conventional car.

Learn more about the variety of hybrid options Toyota makes here. But in the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about hybrid cars before you shop for your own.

1.  Hybrids are easy to drive

While the technology might be complicated, driving a hybrid is simple. There’s really no difference between a hybrid car and a conventional car when it comes to handling and drive. Both accelerate and cruise at similar rates. The biggest difference, and one you’ll probably like, is that hybrid cars are much quieter than conventional rides.

With a hybrid, you often can’t tell when the engine is running and when it’s not. Many hybrids are designed to actually shut off when idle. Turning it back on is as easy as pressing back down on the accelerator. Hybrid cars make all of the transitions between using electricity and gas easy, so you can just focus on driving.

2.  Hybrids are slightly more expensive than conventional cars

Hybrid vehicles tend to be priced slightly higher than their conventional counterparts. If you’re shopping for one, expect the price to be about $1,500 to $2,500 more. However, if you’re interested, don’t let these extra costs deter you. There are many incentives that come with buying a hybrid car that might outweigh that extra upfront cost.

Between the money you’ll save on gas, potential discounts on car insurance (check with your provider), and tax deductions (more on that below), you can quickly make up the difference if buying a hybrid car is important to you. Just be prepared before you walk into the dealership and do your pricing research beforehand.

3.  Hybrids save money on gas

You already knew that hybrid cars are more fuel efficient, but did you know that most hybrid cars get at least 40 – 50 mpg? That will likely cut your number of trips to the gas station in half, which also means cutting what you spend on gas in half. If you’re looking into hybrid cars, expect to save hundreds of dollars in fuel costs.

4.  Hybrids are eco-friendly

Again, you already knew that hybrids are eco-friendly, but do you how? Not only will be using less fuel, which is eco-friendly in and of itself, but most hybrid vehicles produce up to 90% less toxic emissions than conventional cars.

Hybrid cars could have a much longer term impact on the environment as well. As the demand for hybrid cars increases, the demand for fuel decreases. This could potentially lead to less oil manufacturing, which is an environmentally risky practice.

Hybrid cars could have a much longer term impact on the environment as well. As the demand for hybrid cars increases, the demand for fuel decreases. This could potentially lead to less oil manufacturing, which is an environmentally risky practice.

5.  With a plug-in hybrid, you can qualify for a tax deduction

Like anything related to taxes, there is a lot of fine print involved with this point about hybrid cars. However, if you purchase a plug-in hybrid car (i.e. one that charges), you should qualify for a federal tax credit.

Here’s an article with more information on what specifications must be met in order to qualify and claim the credit. Also, a few states already have incentives in place to promote hybrid vehicles. Check out this chart to see if your state is one of them.

6.  The technology for hybrids is constantly improving

Just seeing more and more fully electric cars on the road proves this point to be true, but it’s worth noting that the technology behind hybrid and all fuel-efficient cars is constantly improving as demand for these vehicles continues to rise.

Innovations in the battery of a hybrid is just one example of improving technology. Batteries are becoming lighter and lighter, and are able to hold more and more power without needing to charge. Heavy batteries counteract the whole point of a hybrid vehicle — weighing down a car requires more fuel to make it work, so lighter batteries are a great overall improvement.

7. Hybrids will always be in style

When you drive a hybrid car, you send a message that you care about the environment, our planet, and keeping it a safe, clean place to live.

Whether you’re looking for something like a Prius, the quintessential hybrid, or something a little more understated, like a Camry Hybrid, driving a hybrid vehicle is an easy, yet impactful way you can help change the way we drive.

Do you currently drive a hybrid car? Let us know what you love about it in the comments!

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