Hybrid Cars Versus Traditional Vehicles

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Ask the makers of hybrid vehicles and they will tell you it is the best invention since sliced bread (Dunn). It is a relatively new technology as hybrid vehicles are fuel-efficient incorporating the use of two motors, gasoline and electric. A hybrid vehicle is a good example of the “best of both worlds” as combing the two motors uses their individual strengths and reduces their flaws or deficiencies. With consumers in the automobile industry looking for cleaner options to gain tax incentives as well as get economical mileages, assuming they are rational, hybrid vehicles are gaining traction and on the path to triumphing over the reign of traditional automobiles amidst the ever-growing environmental concerns in the world.

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When people think of buying hybrid vehicles, they mostly think of saving money through reduced fuel costs due to better mileages than its traditional counterpart. Although that is true because indeed, hybrid vehicles give consumers a better mileage and you see yourself going to the petrol station relatively lesser, that is not the only area where you save money. Two words, tax credits! One can save up to $7,500 in tax credits when you buy a hybrid car simply because the government (the USA in this case) wants to promote the sale of hybrid cars because they are a cleaner option and no government, especially a superpower which is always under scrutiny from environmentalists, wants to be on the receiving end of pressure from international bodies striving for the cause of saving the environment. The amount you can claim as credit will depend on the model, the state the vehicle was bought in, and as well as the capacity of the battery powering the vehicle itself (EPA). For example, a 2016 Audi A3 e-Tron will get you tax credits worth $4,502 since it is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle or more commonly known as PHEV. A fully electric vehicle, like the 2016 e-Tron SUV, that runs on just an electric motor will get you much higher tax credits but that is a different argument altogether since we are looking into vehicles that share more elements than not for the sake of a better argument e.g both running on gas. Hence when going down on the cost analysis of comparing vehicles, do give plus points to the hybrid for saving money on fuel as well acquiring tax credits from the government.

In addition to saving some bucks from the purchase and use of hybrid vehicles, most hybrid cars come with at least a basic ‘driving tutor’ system, which helps you to drive in not just a more fuel economical way, but also more sensibly. It shows you how to avoid things like high revs and encourages gradual breaking. This system helps you to adopt good driving habits (Lancaster). Auto accidents are preventable if drivers observe traffic rules and safety laws. Negligent and irresponsible drivers are a major cause of accidents on the road but if provided with a system as such, the frequency of auto accidents can come down gradually. Data shows that more than 90% of road traffic accidents are caused by human error, which includes reckless driving (Fenstersheib). With more hybrid vehicles on the road, there will inevitably be a better driving sense in the community and hopefully, far lesser auto accidents that can prove to be very deadly.

The gasoline engine has been the method of choice for powering cars for as long as automobiles have been in existence. Their relatively compact size, consistent function, and readily available fuel source are a few of the many factors that have led to their triumph in the automobile market. However, several by-products from gasoline engines have received mounting criticism for their level of pollutants, poor fuel averages, and the immense stress on fossil fuel resources. One of the biggest drawbacks to using gasoline-powered cars is the amount of pollution introduced into the atmosphere. CO2, the harmful gas released from a working gas engine, is one of the greenhouse gases that can have a devastating effect on the environment by contributing to the disintegration of melting caps like in Antarctica which consequently leads to frequent flooding in certain parts of the world like the Maldives and an overall increase in global temperatures. Gasoline-run vehicles have been in the game since the very beginning and it is high time they get substituted because their cons outweigh their pros and society has to take the burden of their inefficiency. When there is an obviously better option in the market, why not go for that?

When it comes to being a cleaner option, the hybrid takes home the prize over its traditional counterpart. Since hybrid cars burn regular gasoline, they emit the same greenhouse gases as do conventional cars but obviously lesser in magnitude. If every gallon of gasoline contains 9 kilograms of carbon dioxide, then a hybrid car will emit 23.1 kilograms of carbon dioxide every 161 kilometers, while a conventional car will emit 34 kilograms for the same given distance. If you multiply those numbers over the lifetime of a vehicle, hybrid vehicles more than makeup for their heavier production footprint (Roos). With more and more governments emphasizing keeping the environment as safe as possible, it does not look too good for gasoline car makers as well as buyers. Governments impose high taxes on the makers of gasoline-run vehicles to discourage their sales as well as charge the buyers in the form of a fine or higher road tax for the release of a higher carbon footprint.

Apart from the reasons mentioned above, let me also briefly mention other reasons as to why hybrid vehicles are a comparatively better option. All cars depreciate over time owing to wear and tear and the arrival of newer models, but hybrids depreciate slower than gasoline cars because of them being more technical especially with the dual-motor functioning and a driving tutor system. Henceforth, it should not come as a surprise that if you want to sell on your hybrid vehicle after a few years, the depreciation is less than a regular vehicle which in other words, gives it a higher resale value. One may argue that traditional cars are more powerful than hybrid cars but that may not be entirely true because hybrid vehicles have instant torque thanks to their electric motor. Electric motors deliver their maximum torque rating almost instantaneously. Unlike in traditional cars where you have to spool up a turbocharger, hybrids cars require no waiting time which essentially allows them to match the performance of gasoline-powered cars to quite an extent.

In conclusion, hybrids are a far better option than traditional automobiles when it comes to environmental effects, fuel mileage, resale value, and so on. Traditional automobiles have reigned for far too long and though it is commendable that the first gasoline-run engine completely changed the transportation scene when introduced, the stakeholders and the negative externalities have piled up too high ever since. It would be better off for society if more and more hybrid or pure electric cars are on the roads than not.  

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