There are many reasons for wanting to buy a Hybrid vehicle. In this current day and age it’s becoming a fashion accessory. Sitting in a fancy coffee shop ordering gender neutral coffee harvested by Albanian virgins in the alps of Uzbekistan. Your hair tied in a bun on top of your head, your deliberately shaved five o’clock shadow and your lap top in a leather bag resembling a handbag all close by. Now owning a Hybrid vehicle joins the list of hipster trends needed to convince trendy establishment owners that you will in fact one day change the world (all you need to do is get a job first)
Many people are purchasing these vehicles for the reduced environmental impact these cars are making. This reason is currently the most sensible, as the secondary argument for purchasing these is the fuel savings you can make. We will get to the fuel saving argument soon but first lets look at the reduced environmental impact.
The core issue with vehicle production and running of motor vehicles is the production of carbon. A petrol or diesel engine produces carbon as a by-product of burning the fuel and it gets pumped out the tail pipe. The electric vehicles do not. They use electricity (obviously), however how do you think the government produces electricity for the grid? It burns fuels which produce carbon. It is no longer your car directly producing this but your vehicle is still the cause of a huge amount of carbon, only you just paid up to $10K more for it.
The next thing to take into account is production and battery disposal. The environmental impact these cars have once they hit the road may be exceptionally less than that of the petrol or even the diesel counterparts, yet if you take into account the production process of the batteries required for electric vehicles and the disposal for the electric vehicles, your new car causes an emissions footprint greater than the positive impact of not using a gasoline engine. Mother earth is just as chocked up with these cars as they are with any diesel VW.
The final thing to consider is the financial cost to the consumer. Granted its cheaper to run an electric car than a petrol one. Consumers need to consider that the hybrid vehicles are far dearer than the petrol equivalents. The price difference can be anywhere from $5k up to $35K in the luxury makes. When a bloke in a cheap suit who never graduated high school is selling you the car, he will never give you the numbers on how long it takes to recuperate the costs of the dearer vehicle.
A research company in the US has done the research, bear in mind here the variations on things like, avaerage kilometres driven in a year, the dollar value, the cost of fuel in the US and the cost of importing the car into the US and any tax benefits various governments might give you.
On some of the smaller cars such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Camry the vehicles take anywhere from two to ten years before the price difference is recouped by the fuel savings. Interestingly at the time of this research the Lexus was tested and a huge price difference between the hybrid and the petrol engine meant it would take 102 years to recoup the cost.
Obviously as time goes on technology improvements will both reduce the affect of production and reduce the carbon produced in production and one day in the not too distant future electric cars will be the norm. But for now we advise avoiding them.