Buying a hybrid the case against

Buying a Hybrid – The Case Against

Hybrid fuel vehicles are one of the headline stories in the automobile market of the moment, if not THE headline story. The darling of the Green movement, hybrids are ushering in an age of greater fuel efficiency and cleaner air, and not only that – they tend to perform at least as well as 100% gas models. Most striking of all, though, is the latest reason being mooted for driving a hybrid model. With alarm bells ringing all over at the rising cost of oil driving petrol prices ever higher, people are beginning to question whether buying a hybrid fuel car might be a wise investment because the hybrid’s admittedly higher off-the-forecourt price is being balanced out by the lower refueling costs.

Now, it is still debatable whether the hybrid is going to pay for itself, as the difference in fuel economy between comparable models seems to suggest that it will take three years or more to “break even” – by which time a lot of people are ready to trade in for a newer model. Appealing to people’s self-interest when promoting the hybrid car may, for the moment, be a blind alley. This is a question that will be revisited periodically, though, because if fuel costs continue to rise then the issue of fuel efficiency will become important to even the most hardened petrol head, and the most hard-nosed economist.

It seems, then, that the argument for hybrid cars is still mostly dependent upon the environmental question. Green issues are supremely irrelevant to many, but even people who do not pay much attention to global issues are beginning to feel that driving a car that pollutes the atmosphere might be too much of a burden on their conscience. Concerned parents hearing about the effects of vehicle emissions on the lungs of a child will inevitably stop and think about how they might be harming not only their own kids but those of their friends, and beyond.

Hybrid cars enable the driver to disengage the engine in an urban setting, which means there is no need to sit idling in a traffic queue with the exhaust belching pollutants. Static traffic is perhaps even more dangerous to the health of people’s lungs, because as a car sits there giving off exhaust fumes, the fumes gather and pollute the air. Consequently, sitting in a queue in electric mode will allow you to have vastly less negative impact on the environment, and whether it is down to your principles or your conscience, that is inevitably good for your stress levels.

As with everything, the decision to buy a hybrid vehicle or not comes down to priorities, and the balance of pros and cons for the driver/customer. There is no doubt that a hybrid electric car will do less harm to the urban environment – conversely there is also no doubt that at the moment it costs more to buy and run for a certain period. Balancing these priorities against one another is how people will make their decision, but it is worth remembering that it is only going to get cheaper to drive a hybrid in comparison with a gas. What is it going to be?

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