In a recent article, we gave several compelling reasons you might want to consider if you’re thinking about buying a hybrid vehicle. But, know this: while a hybrid can be a great choice for many people, some of the benefits are either overstated or dependent on other factors. When you’re deciding whether or not to go with a hybrid, don’t forget to consider the following points:
They’re more expensive upfront
The upfront cost (the amount you’ll pay at the dealer) of a hybrid tends to be more expensive on average than that of a regular vehicle. For performance vehicles, this price divide tends to be even higher. While you might eventually make up the cost with tax breaks and saved fuel costs, doing so may take longer than expected. (And if we’re talking about performance vehicles like the Lexus LS Hybrid, the additional costs may never be recouped.)
The fuel efficiency depends on where and how you drive
It’s well known that hybrids’ much-celebrated fuel efficiency comes with some caveats. Because a hybrid’s electric motor is generally only used at lower speeds, and because part of the car’s charge is built up by braking (which happens more often in the city), the fuel efficiency can vary fairly drastically depending on where and how you’re driving. If you spend a lot of time on the highway, you may not get as much out of a hybrid as you would if you did most of your driving in town.
They’re not going to save the planet
A hybrid is a better choice than a traditional vehicle when it comes to low emissions and fuel efficiency, but the environmental benefits of hybrids have been somewhat overstated. Working to reduce your dependence on personal vehicles will do far more for the environment in the long run.