What Should You Know Before Buying a Hybrid?

More and more people are looking into hybrid Toyotas, seeing them as a good midpoint between ecologically damaging gasoline cars and fully electric vehicles.  Basically, a hybrid is a car that combines electric motors with a gasoline engine to get the best of both worlds.

Toyota has a wide range of hybrids available, whether you're looking for new or used cars in Brockville.  The Camry, Avalon, RAV4, Highlander, Corolla, Prius, and more come in hybrid variations, so you have a lot of different options. However, it's good to know what you're getting into, before investing in a hybrid vehicle.  So, in this article, we wanted to talk about some of your options, and how to choose the right hybrid Toyota for your needs!

I. Types of Hybrid Vehicles

There are four basic types of hybrid setups available:

1 - Parallel hybrids

This is the most typical type of hybrid. They feature both electric and gasoline motors, which switch back and forth depending on the situation. For example, a typical arrangement is that the gasoline motor powers the car during hard acceleration, but the electric motors take over once you reach cruising speed.

2 - Mild hybrids (aka light hybrids)

These hybrids still primarily rely on a gasoline engine as their main source of energy, which is then supplemented by electric motors in some situations. They typically don't offer fuel efficiency as good as other hybrid types.

3 - Plug-in hybrids

The opposite of mild hybrids, these are electric-first and must be plugged in like a full EV. However, they still have a gasoline engine for providing extra acceleration when needed, or as an emergency fallback if the battery runs out of electricity.

4 - Range extended hybrids

These are also electric-first and need to be plugged in. The difference is that the gasoline engine is solely used to generate more power for the battery, which extends their range beyond what typical EVs can accomplish.

II. What Are the Benefits of Hybrids?

In general, hybrids are an excellent balance, taking a 'best of both worlds' approach to motor design. Some of the major benefits include:

  • Significantly better fuel efficiency compared to gasoline-only models.
  • Saving money on fuel costs since you'll have to refuel far less frequently.  In many cases, the long-term fuel savings will more than make up for the extra up-front costs of buying a hybrid.
  • Many areas offer tax write-offs or other benefits and subsidies for buying a hybrid.
  • Reduced greenhouse emissions and overall better eco-friendliness.
  • Few or no worries about the range of your vehicle, unlike pure EVs which can only go as far as their battery will allow. The combination of gasoline battery means that these cars often have better range than either of the alternatives.
  • Few or no concerns about finding a fuel station with the right electric hookups for recharging the battery. At worst, you just drive on gas until you can plugin.
  • They're excellent for city driving, with smooth performance and easy acceleration.

Meanwhile, the only significant downside of a hybrid is that they do cost somewhat more than a traditional gasoline-powered car. That said, as mentioned above, the fuel savings will usually equal or beat the additional up-front cost, over the life of the vehicle.

III. Are There Maintenance Concerns with A Hybrid?

No, actually, at this point hybrid technology is quite robust.  It's at least as solid as regular cars, and won't require any additional maintenance compared to your other choices in vehicles. 

Likewise, hybrids today can be expected to last as long as any other vehicle. The only major concern would be the battery losing the ability to hold a charge, but even that shouldn't happen for many years.  A typical hybrid or EV battery today is guaranteed for 150,000 miles, or even longer. Better yet, that guarantee does usually transfer between owners, so you are still protected even if you choose to buy a used car in Brockville rather than buying new.

Just be aware that maintenance may be slightly more expensive than on regular cars, especially where the electric motors are concerned. However, since they're so reliable, this is rarely a major concern.

IV. Are Hybrids Good as Long-Distance Vehicles?

Yes! In fact, they're one of the best choices if you plan on long trips specifically because they have two separate power systems. This typically gives them better mileage/range than either of the alternatives. If one power source runs out, the vehicle can usually run off the other engine until you're able to recharge/refuel.

Plus, hybrids today are available in all shapes and sizes. If you need a larger vehicle capable of carrying a lot of people and cargo, such as a Toyota RAV4, you'll still be able to see all the benefits and savings that come with owning a hybrid.

Explore Your Options in Toyota Hybrids At 1000 Islands Toyota of Brockville

As Brockville's top choice in Toyotas, we have a full line of Toyota hybrids, with both new and used cars available. Toyota has long been a pioneer in hybrid technology and is one of the best in the business when you want a hybrid that's solid, reliable, and capable of running for years with minimal maintenance.

If you think a hybrid is right for your next vehicle purchase, contact us or just come visit 1000 Islands Toyota for some test drives to narrow down your options!