Easthybrid Automotive

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FAQ

Typically, in congested city roads, a hybrid vehicle will predominantly rely on electric power, while on the fast-paced highways and interstates, it is more likely to rely on the gasoline engine.

Surprisingly, the initial introduction of a gasoline-electric hybrid dates back to 1917. However, it failed commercially due to its sluggish performance and challenging maintenance. Only in the late 1990s did hybrids regain viability, thanks to Toyota’s launch of the Prius in Japan in 1997. Honda followed suit in 1999, becoming the second automaker to offer hybrids with the release of the Insight.

There are two primary factors that contribute to the higher cost of hybrid cars compared to conventional vehicles. Firstly, conventional cars have been around for a longer time period, allowing manufacturers to refine their designs and minimize potential issues. This reduces the risk of widespread recalls, unlike the case with hybrid cars. For instance, Toyota had to recall 75,000 Prius hybrids sold in 2004 and 2005 due to a problem with the hybrid drivetrain. 

 

As hybrid cars are relatively new to the market, manufacturers need to increase their prices slightly to account for this risk.Furthermore, the hybrid drive system is considerably more costly than a typical gasoline motor. Hybrid vehicles require not only a gasoline engine, but also an electric motor, battery storage system, and systems for generating and reclaiming energy to be stored in the battery. Additionally, hybrids necessitate additional systems to manage and operate all these extra components. These added complexities contribute to the higher production costs and subsequently the higher price tag of hybrid cars compared to conventional ones.

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In general, hybrid cars have been found to be as safe as conventional vehicles. However, there are a few exceptions to this statement. When operating in “electric only” mode at low speeds, hybrids can be very quiet and potentially increase the risk to pedestrians, particularly those who are visually impaired. Research has shown that in urban areas, hybrid cars can be nearly impossible to hear.

 Additionally, hybrids may have a higher risk of fatality in severe accidents due to a couple of factors. One reason is that these vehicles tend to be constructed with lighter materials to improve fuel efficiency. Another concern is the potential electrocution hazard posed by the high-voltage NiCad battery pack in the event of an accident, although manufacturers like Toyota claim to have addressed this issue

It is advisable for certain individuals, particularly those who don’t frequently use their vehicles, to opt for non-hybrid when purchasing a new car. This is because hybrid battery packs require regular charging through consistent use, failing which they may not operate effectively and could deteriorate. Even a short period of inactivity, such as a week or more, can impact the performance of a hybrid’s batteries. Therefore, if you have irregular driving habits or frequently have to leave your car unused, it would be best to avoid choosing a hybrid.

Hybrid cars and electric cars belong to different classes of vehicles. Hybrids use both a gasoline engine and a battery-powered motor, whereas electric cars run solely on electric batteries. Hybrids provide good fuel efficiency by utilizing the battery for short distances and operating like a regular car for longer trips. The Toyota Prius is a leading hybrid, providing over 50 miles per gallon, while most hybrids offer 30 to 45 miles per gallon. Hybrid technology has been available for nearly a decade, resulting in a wide variety of hybrid models on the market. 

In contrast, electric cars solely rely on electric batteries and are significantly more expensive due to their ability to travel longer distances. Electric cars are measured by their electric range instead of miles per gallon. Currently, there are only a limited number of electric cars available, with notable options being Tesla Motors’ high-end vehicles such as the Roadster and Model S, which offer electric ranges of 250 to 300 miles. The Chevy Volt is a more affordable electric car option with a 50-mile electric range. Although hybrids and electric cars share some technological similarities, they are distinct vehicle classes known for their high fuel efficiency.

When considering an electric car, it is important to also consider the difference in prices for repairs. While general maintenance tasks such as brake jobs, tire replacement, and rotations are expected to cost similar to those for regular cars, specialized components like electrical motors, speed controllers, and battery systems may require technicians from specialized dealerships to work on them. 

This could potentially result in higher costs for repairs and a longer duration spent in the repair shop. However, it is worth noting that most of these components come with warranties. Ensuring that you won’t have to pay for repairs to these systems for a certain period of time.

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