Debunked: Hybrid Vehicle Myths and Truths

on April 08, 2014 at 3:00 PM

Toyota Announces Prius Recall Due To Brake Issue

Most consumers have pre-conceived notions about hybrid cars. They think they’re expensive go-carts driven by smug vegans on their way to Whole Foods. However, hybrid cars are starting to evolve. They’re becoming faster, cheaper, and more stylish. Let’s debunk a few myths in hopes of improving their reputation.

Myth #1: Hybrid Cars Don’t Have the Power of Gas-Powered Models

We’ve all experienced that guilty pleasure of revving our engines and speeding off as soon as that light turns green. You don’t have to be Danica Patrick to love going fast; however, most people worry that buying a hybrid will end their Speed Racer days. They think they’ll putter down the street, going 0 to 60 mph in two minutes.

False. It’s 2014, and each year more car manufacturers work to increase the power of hybrid cars. Just because they don’t waste a ton of gas speeding up, doesn’t mean they can’t go fast. Almost all brands have hybrid cars in sportier, faster models than the hybrids of yesteryear.

Myth #2: SUVs Can Never be Efficient

When people hear the word “SUV,” they often think gas-guzzler, even though the SUV hybrid isn’t a far-fetched idea. For example, Mercedes-Benz has a whole line of SUVs that are meant to have a small impact on the environment while giving the driver maximum off-road potential.

Who cares about the environment more than people who like to leave the highway behind and explore mountain paths and beaches to commune with nature? They should be able to bring their kayaks and mountain bikes along with their eco-friendly SUVs.

Myth #3: Hybrids Are Expensive

Like the myth that hybrids don’t have power, the belief that they’re expensive stems from the early days of these vehicles. Well, almost everything is more expensive when it first comes out, like smartphones and HDTVs.

As hybrids become more common, the cost of production decreases, which has a direct effect on the price. They’re not just for the Beverly Hills celebrity who can afford to spend millions on solar panels anymore.

Not only has the price dropped over the years, but also the time it takes to pay-off your purchase. Think about how much money you spend on gas each month. If most of that money can be transferred into your car payment, you’ll shave off the months and years off writing monthly checks. In theory, the more gas prices increase, the cheaper the hybrid turns out to be in the long run.

Myth #4: Car Production Cancels Any Environmental Benefits

Oftentimes, hybrid critics like to laugh and point out that our eco-friendly cars emitted significantly more greenhouse gases and burned way more fossil fuels during creation than their gas-powered models. While that’s true, it doesn’t mean that production completely outweighs the long-term benefits.

Reusable grocery bags faced the same criticism; however, they reduce plastic bag usage over time and keep more plastic out of the landfills. According to HowStuffWorks, a gas-powered car that’s driven 160,000 miles (257,495 kilometers) in its lifetime releases exponentially more greenhouse gases than a hybrid. Think about the long run when buying a car.

Myth #5: Hybrids are Just a Fad

Many people believe that hybrid cars are products of the “going green” fad that we’re in right now. They think it’s just another way for car companies to make money off of us, or they’re the automotive equivalent of 3-D TVs: cool in theory, but inconvenient in practice.

Have you read the rest of this article? Hybrid production has become more efficient, leading to less-expensive and sportier models. Car manufacturers are invested in hybrids because they’re more than just a fad, they’re our future.

Myth #6: Hybrids are for Dorks

There’s one more myth that needs to be debunked before we can wrap this up: hybrids aren’t just driven by guys wearing socks and sandals anymore. You can be cool behind the wheel of a hybrid, and your man-card won’t get taken away.

We’ve already lived through the hybrid dark ages, these cars will only grow in popularity and style in the future.

See you in a hybrid!

Hailey is a recent graduate with a degree in Journalism. Now that she isn’t face first in books she is trying to travel as much as she can. She writes in her free time between fixing up her new house and teaching people how to live a longer, healthier life.