Today, our auto experts at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton break down the real costs of owning a hybrid vehicle. You’ve probably heard by now that hybrids can save you money, but we want to show you the benefits and typical expenses in a little more detail.
Let’s take a look at how hybrids work and the cost savings to run it and to maintain it. A hybrid can be partially or wholly powered by electricity. Hybrid cars release fewer emissions and use less gas. This can be an advantage to the environment and your budget.
There are different kinds of hybrids.
There are conventional hybrids like the Toyota Prius with power sources that can work together or drive the car separately.
At low speeds, the engine turns off and the hybrid is only driven by the car’s electric motor. When you want higher speeds, both the engine and the motor work together. But what about the in-between stages? The excess power from the engine recharges the batteries that power the electric motor. Toyota also uses this hybrid system in the Yaris and Auris hatchbacks and Prius+ MPV hybrids. Hybrid cars from Audi, BMW, Citroen, Land Rover, Lexus, Peugeot, Porsche, Mercedes, and Volkswagen also work in the same way. With the Honda cars, there is a relatively small conventional engine that uses an electric motor to provide extra help when it needs it. But the electric motor doesn’t power the car by itself.
There is a different kind of hybrid called a plug-in hybrid. The plug-in hybrid vehicles combine an electric motor and battery with a gas engine. This kind of vehicle is plugged into an electric outlet so the batteries recharge and it can also recharge when the car is moving. The plug-in hybrids have a regular gas engine but they also have bigger batteries. The larger batteries allow them to go longer distances on electric power alone. It’s possible to drive up to 30 miles on electric power.
No matter what kind of hybrid you decide to drive, the engine and electric motor components require the same maintenance.
According to a Driverside article, your hybrid will require basic maintenance on the internal combustion engine just like a regular car. Your vehicle will still need oil changes and other routine maintenance. However, the good news is that you won’t need any service on your electric engine until about 80,000 miles or 4-5 years, longer than any standard car.
Because it is a hybrid, some maintenance and repairs are going to be more expensive. But will it be enough to make a real difference?
Did you know that a mechanic can only work on your hybrid if they have special training? It’s true and there aren’t many mechanics or auto shops that have the training and can provide hybrid maintenance. We do. Our auto technicians are hybrid trained.
Okay, so what about the hybrid’s cooling system? It is much more technical than a regular cooling system and it takes more time and training to replace. That’s going to mean a higher cost. On the good side, it won’t have to happen until you reach about 100,000 miles.
On the hybrid’s side, the regenerative braking system, which uses the electric motor to assist in stopping the car will last a long time before maintenance and repairs are needed. Hopefully, this will help you save money.
So, there are some differences in the expense for maintenance and repairs for hybrids. But when you get down to the real costs of owning a hybrid vehicle you can see overall the hybrid’s maintenance doesn’t seem that much more expensive because you get some reduced costs like in the regenerative braking and daily gas savings. You’re also in luck because our auto technicians at Dakota Ridge Automotive in Littleton are trained to maintain and repair your hybrid. Simply bring it in for expert maintenance and repairs.