Hybrid cars are recently becoming more and more popular, especially as gas prices seem to be going up all the time, and as climate change problem is becoming more and more serious. The basic definition of hybrid cars would be the car that uses two or more distinct power sources to move the vehicle, mostly the combination of an internal combustion engine and one or more electric motors. Such combination enables hybrid cars to have higher fuel efficiency and lower emissions compared to traditional gas-powered cars.
There are two main advantages of hybrid cars compared to traditional cars, one is lower CO2 emissions, and therefore less impact to global warming (the environmental advantage of hybrid cars), and the other is higher fuel efficiency that can save you sufficient amount of money over the years (economic advantage of hybrid cars). In times when gasoline was fairly cheap improving mileage wasn't something many people were worried with, but at these uncertain economic times, when almost any dollar matters fuel efficiency has become rather important advantage that hybrid cars have over traditional cars.
Currently there are some strong efforts in United States to improve mileage of cars. If you look at the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards then you can see that the current standards require that the average mileage of all the new cars sold by an auto maker should be 27.5 mpg (8.55 liters per 100 km). These standards were also meant to increase the production of hybrid cars in the United States because the more hybrid cars certain auto maker sells, the more highly expensive luxury cars can be sold too, for instance if an auto maker sells one hybrid car that use 3.92 liters per 100 km, it can then sell four expensive luxury cars that use 11.76 liters per 100 km.
The biggest disadvantage of hybrid cars is that they are still fairly expensive, namely the production of hybrid cars still has relatively high costs. Hybrid cars therefore usually cost in range from $2,000 to $5,000 more than their non-Hybrid versions. The high costs of hybrid cars are usually the results of using very rare materials in their production (for instance dysprosium used to fabricate many of the advanced electric motors and battery systems in hybrid propulsion systems, and neodymium used as a crucial ingredient in high-strength magnets that are found in permanent magnet electric motors).
The other disadvantage of hybrid cars is that their are usually heavier than their non-Hybrid versions, so their handling isn't in the same range as it is with conventional cars. The fact that there are usually heavier than their non-hybrid versions is because hybrid car batteries are very heavy.
Another currently big disadvantage of hybrid cars is the servicing. It is not only difficult to find garage that has the necessary equipment to service your hybrid car so in most cases you will be forced to make service at the manufacturer which in most cases can turn out to be very expensive.
The thing that could be characterized by many as the disadvantage of hybrid cars is their acceleration. To some people speed is the main reason for buying the car and hybrid cars tend to accelerate at a slower speed when compared to the traditional gasoline-powered cars.
While there is no doubt that these days hybrid cars are more and more gaining on popularity there are still some factors that prevent them from fully competing with traditional gas-powered cars. Hybrid cars manufacturing is still process with relatively high costs so the end product usually has hefty price tag, and this disadvantage prevents many buyers from decision to buy them.
Once production costs become comparable to conventional cars we should expect mass production of hybrid cars because of before mentioned environmental and economic advantage they have over the conventional cars. When exactly will this happen is hard to say, but since they are becoming more and more popular, there are more and more researches oriented to improve their efficiency, so we should be really expecting more good news from hybrid cars market in years ahead.
A tip at the end: If you are looking for a hybrid vehicle that fits in your budget, used car dealers in Phoenix AZ can definitely be a good start in the right direction