Hybrid Car Disadvantages to Consider Before Buying Barry

If you are thinking of buying a hybrid car it's as well to consider some of the disadvantages as well as the benefits. There are several disadvantages to even the newest hybrid cars.

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Hybrid Car Disadvantages to Consider Before Buying

Hybrid Car Disadvantages You May Want to Consider

Hybrid car disadvantages? What about the disadvantages of hybrid cars? Are they worth considering when the advantages are so clear?

If you are thinking of buying a hybrid car it's as well to consider some of the disadvantages as well as the benefits.

There are several disadvantages to even the newest hybrid cars.

This page takes a look at some of them.

What price a cleaner environment?

Firstly, and most obviously, there's the price.

Modern hybrids do not come cheap - which effectively puts them out of reach for many people for the time being. The cheapest (new) Toyota Prius comes in at over 20,000 dollars in the US, over £16,000 in the UK (2007 prices).

Doubtless as more people see the advantages and buy into the technology the prices will tumble. You stand to recoup some - or even all - of your expenditure in fuel savings, however.

Of course you can buy second-hand but some of the older models are not as environmentally-friendly and certainly not as user-friendly.

Some of them (the Prius, again, the Honda Civic and Nissan's Altima) get the SmartWay Elite badge from being "superior environmental performers" on greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution gases.

Hybrid car disadvantages:

Assault and battery?

Some hybrids (the Prius, for example) use metal hydride batteries which could, in theory kill a person if they were exposed during crash conditions. They use very high voltages. Toyota claim to have minimised the risks.

Another problem with the battery of the older Prius models is that they needs re-charging at least every two weeks - so if you want long vacations you have to engage someone as a car sitter!

You may also need a new battery every 150k to 200k miles - but this is hardly worse than the average car battery! The Prius battery is supposed to last a lifetime but again, this depends on many factors such as use and abuse. They are certainly expensive to replace.

Chill factor

Some batteries have also been criticised for failing to deliver in cold weather. This means that if you live in a cold part of the world, you may find that a hybrid does not offer much in terms of fuel savings because you'll mainly be running on gas.

Hybrid car batteries are heavy which adds to the over-all weight of the cars, which may be a disadvantage to some people.

The weight of the battery has also led to criticisms of the handling qualities of some hybrid cars.

Hybrid car disadvantages:

Pollution from the car factories

Yes, of course hybrids leave a carbon footprint from their manufacture - just as other vehicles do. In some ways the pollution is greater because of the extra components needed for a hybrid - the twin drive-trains, for example.

There have been studies (MIT, Carnegie Mellon University) which showed that the pollution and energy consumption from manufacture is greater than for conventional cars, as is the cost ...

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