All About Hybrid Cars | Dick Hannah Dealerships

All About Hybrid Cars

Hybrid vehicles are not a new idea. Would you believe, such hybrid car technology has been around for over a century! However, it wasn’t until the mid-90s that the trend became more popular and has continued to change and innovate the auto industry. Even as hybrid cars become more prevalent, many consumers aren’t exactly clear about how they work. If you’re ready to learn all about hybrid cars, buckle up for the ride. 

What Is a Hybrid Car?

Buy A Hybrid - 2020 Optima Hybrid and 2020 Soul Hybrid

By definition, a hybrid is made by combining two different elements to create something new. So, a hybrid car has at least one electric motor paired with a gasoline engine and is powered by both. The electric motor and engine work together to make your car drive. But they can also work independently of each other to power the car on their own. The system also contains a battery that works with the electric motor to keep the motor running. 

How Does a Hybrid Car Work?

Overview of how hybrid cars work

The gasoline engine is the primary source of power for a hybrid vehicle, with the electric motor typically kicking in as you start driving and continue up to speeds of 15mph. The point of having the engine and the motor is to use the motor when gasoline is least efficient. The electric motor plays a support role under hard acceleration but as you cruise at higher speeds, the engine produces all the power. There are additional aspects unique to hybrid vehicles, including: 

  • Regenerative Braking: When you slow down or use the brakes in your car, the braking system creates electricity that is then stored in the battery to be used by the motor later. 
  • Electric Motor Drive/Assist: While the engine does most of the work, the electric motor assists in accelerating, passing, and hill-climbing.
  • Automatic Start/Stop: When you stop your car, such as in stop-and-go traffic or at a stoplight, the engine automatically turns off until you press the accelerator again. The purpose of this is to reduce the energy waste associated with idling. 

How Long do Hybrid Batteries Last? 

Like any other car part, the lifespan of a hybrid battery can vary depending on many factors, including the make, model, mileage, and more. Most carmakers report that hybrid car batteries last the life of the vehicle but, again, that depends on the make and model. Research suggests batteries in Toyota hybrid vehicles can run problem-free for around 180,000 miles, while batteries in Honda hybrids are designed to last at least 10 years.  Most batteries for hybrid vehicles come with an eight-year or 100,000-mile warranty so if the battery dies too soon, it is most likely covered for a replacement. 

Benefits of Hybrid Cars 

When you are researching hybrid cars, there are many benefits that may convince you to go semi-electric. 

  • Hybrids are Eco-Friendly: Since a hybrid car is sometimes powered by electricity, it runs cleaners and gets better gas mileage than a car that solely relies on gasoline. Additionally, with less fuel required to run, hybrids have less emission output and less dependence on fossil fuels. Overall, driving a hybrid is better for the earth than a standard vehicle. 
  • Financial Benefits: When your hybrid car is using less fuel and giving you better gas mileage, you save money by not having to fill your tank as often. Due to their “green” nature, hybrid cars are also supported by tax credits and incentives, making them more affordable in the long-run
  • Higher Resale Value: Since hybrids typically cost a bit more upfront, it makes sense that the resale value would be more than a standard vehicle. If down the road, you want to sell or trade-in your hybrid car for a newer model, you should get a better price for it than a regular car. 

Shop for Your Hybrid 

Dick Hannah Dealerships in the Portland Metro and Southwest Washington, sells new and used hybrid vehicles to suit all your driving needs. Visit our dealership today or browse our inventory online to see what we have in stock. For the nicest car-shopping experience around, choose Dick Hannah Dealerships. 

Contact Us