The growing popularity of hybrid vehicles has led many to start wondering whether it might not be time to make the switch. Here you’ll find out five essential things you need to know to help you make your decision a bit more clear.

How It Works

Most hybrids use a system composed of both an electric motor and a gasoline engine. The engines are typically smaller than what would be required in a normal car as the electric motor works to take up the slack. The electric motor takes over for the gasoline engine at certain times, helping it to use less fuel while still allowing you to drive the same number of miles.

Short Range Driving

If you are one who frequently makes short trips on city streets, a hybrid would very likely be a great fit for you. Low speed driving lets the electric motor take over for an increased period, and some drivers can even use no gas at all on a given trip. These cars also work well for highway driving due to aerodynamics. Additionally, some hybrids provide motors that operate at higher speeds, which will also save on gasoline usage.

A Wide Variety

If you picture a Prius when you think of a hybrid, think again. There are a wide range of styles and sizes available. While the smallest will provide increased fuel economy, there are also SUVs and even trucks that use a hybrid-assist system to decrease fuel consumption. If there is a particular type of vehicle you like, there is probably a hybrid version.

Plan to Pay a Bit More

While hybrids will save you money at the pump, you will need to plan to pay more initially. Even the most compact are more expensive than their non-hybrid counterparts are. However, as a trade-off, most of them also come with more standard features in an effort to offset the cost somewhat and make them more appealing.

Performance Is Possible

It’s also important to point out that there are hybrids available that offer increased performance. Porsche, BMW and Lexus all have options that deliver great performance while still offering the fuel and energy savings.

Hybrids are a great option for many reasons, even beyond the most obvious like fuel economy and environmental friendliness.

This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as 5 Essential Things to Know About Hybrids and was authored by Valerie Johnston.


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