Problems with Hybrid Cars 

Are you aware of problems with hybrid cars?

Recently, many companies have started producing electric and hybrid vehicles to limit the effects of automobiles on the environment. These vehicles use two engines. One of the engines is a conventional gas-powered engine, and the other is an electric engine. 

These cars are becoming common and more accepted in America. They are an important investment because of their better fuel economy, low emissions, and efficient design. Cars like Civic Hybrid and Toyota Prius are hybrid vehicles that not only help you to save fuel but also generate less CO2 emissions and are considered cheap. 

Problems of Hybrid Cars

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Even though owning a hybrid vehicle is a great investment, many people are unaware of the drawbacks or potential problems having a hybrid vehicle can bring.

They do not know how it works nor the merits of hybrid cars over gasoline-powered ones. But since it is eco-friendly, it is a good idea. Yet some drawbacks are overlooked. Let us look at some of them.

Complex Design 

One great feature of the hybrid vehicle is its double engines. These two engines work together to power the vehicle at different speeds; when the vehicle is at low speed and requires less energy, the electric engine powers the car and ensures that it gives off less CO2 emissions. 

On the other hand, if the vehicle reaches a speed of over 40 mph, the gas engine kicks in to generate more power and ensure that the vehicle maintains its speed.[1]

However, the presence of double engines increases the possibility that your hybrid vehicle will need repairs. Conventional vehicles with one engine require routine maintenance from time to time.

Still, in the case of hybrid vehicles, their complex design means that routine checks are more expensive and inconvenient.

This is mostly because most service shops and mechanics do not have the tools or technical know-how to work on or run diagnostics on hybrid vehicles.

This means that owners of hybrid vehicles will need to take their vehicles to the manufacturers for repairs or servicing, which is usually more expensive.

Higher Initial Cost

Hybrid vehicles have huge price tags. Their prices range from around $20,000 to upwards of $100,000. More so, if you compare the disparity in the fuel bills of a hybrid and a conventional vehicle, the difference doesn’t justify the high cost of purchasing a hybrid.[2]

Battery Issues

One of the many criticisms of hybrid vehicles is their batteries. Batteries are too heavy and weigh down the car. They also need to be recharged often, sometimes within two weeks. 

Some batteries pose a problem, especially the ones that use nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) batteries. These batteries use high voltages and can blow up if there is a collision, resulting in possible death or injury to the driver and occupants of the car.

Too Quiet

Many people may view the quietness of a hybrid vehicle as an advantage or cool feature. Still, it poses a serious threat to large segments of people. Many people, especially visually impaired pedestrians, have noted that hybrid cars are too quiet. This increases a pedestrian’s risk of colliding with a hybrid vehicle.[3]

Blind people rely on sound and their power of hearing to navigate their environment, and the soundless approach of a hybrid vehicle could pose a safety issue.

Recalls

Toyota recalled almost 148,000 Lexus hybrids and Priuses in the United States because of issues with their anti-lock brakes system. It can be argued that hybrid cars are relatively new technology and still have glitches and technical difficulties.

Still, this number of recalls has affected the sale of Toyota even though the company’s Chief Quality Officer for North America, Steve St. Angelo, has assured that all the safety issues have been efficiently addressed. 

Do Hybrids Have More Problems? 

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Suppose you wonder if hybrid cars have more problems than the ones mentioned above. Then the answer is yes. But these problems are specific to car models and not common. They are: 

Less power

Hybrid vehicles use a combination of gas and electric engine, with the gas engine operating as the main power source. As a result, none of the engines works as strongly as they would have if they were purely electric cars or gas cars. However, a hybrid vehicle is a great choice for daily users who want to drive around the town. 

Pricey to buy

As stated earlier, the price of a hybrid vehicle is sure to burn a hole in your pocket. Brand new hybrid vehicles cost $100,000 or more and are more exorbitant than traditional vehicles. 

Higher running costs

Hybrid vehicles are not as easy to maintain as conventional vehicles. This is because they are a new technology, and most mechanics are not equipped to work on their engines. Therefore, every routine check and repair must pass through the manufacturer, which naturally increases the repair cost. 

Poor handling

Hybrid cars are made with more machinery than regular cars, which adds more weight and limits fuel efficiency. To solve this, hybrid vehicle manufacturers make smaller batteries and engines to reduce weight. Unfortunately, this only reduces the support of the car’s body and suspension and the car’s power. 

Electrocution risk

Hybrid vehicles have batteries that often contain high voltage and can electrocute drivers and passengers if an accident occurs. 

Toyota hybrid problems 

Toyota hybrid cars play a forerunner role in the hybrid car industry, being in existence since the 1990s. But it has exhibited some problems you’d think should not exist in the vehicle seeing how far they have come. 

Some of the issues include: 

Battery issues

Like almost all hybrid cars, the Toyota car models have battery issues. The problems with Toyota hybrid batteries are the most outstanding and the main reason people are skeptical about buying the car. 

That aside, the batteries are also very costly to replace, requiring about $3,000 to $8,000. Imagine experiencing a battery failure when you are broke. 

Inverter Malfunction,

Another problem with Toyota hybrids is the malfunctioning of the inverter after hitting the 100,000 miles warranty. This is also expensive to fix and requires almost $4,000. 

Braking inconsistently 

Because the Toyota hybrid vehicle uses the regenerative braking system, there are times you might experience inconsistent braking. This can be quite intermediating but can be resolved if your car model is from 2010 and above.

Other problems of Toyota hybrid cars include: 

  • Components are not readily available 
  • Replacement parts are very expensive 
  • Older models have the most problems 

Some Hybrid Cars to Avoid

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If you’re looking to purchase hybrid cars, many of them will serve perfectly. At the same time, you must steer clear of some of them. 

They are:

Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV

The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV may be good, but the 2021 model has many issues, from poor cabin quality to low mileage, small battery, and gas tank. Many car buyers described it as a letdown.

Lexus CT200h

The Lexus CT200h may feel slighted to be included on this list because it’s not as bad as the others, but it doesn’t make a good case for staying away, either. The vehicle’s 2017 model could have done better on its 42 combined mpg rating. A lot of hybrid vehicles have more impressive MPGs and cost far less. Also, its slow acceleration didn’t endear it to buyers.

Toyota Prius+

The Toyota Prius+ came as an upgrade to the Toyota Prius, but that was in name only. With an mpg of 49 and a sluggish acceleration, the 2020 model was no match for other affordable cars with better features. Toyota decided to cut down on its losses by discontinuing the model. Great decision, indeed!

Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid

We have been rating cars with mpg of 49 as failures, but the 2013 model of the Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid takes the cake. With an mpg of 21 and an electric-only drive, it’s safe to say that your money is better spent elsewhere.

Lexus LC500h

The Lexus LC500h was a rather disappointing upgrade to the Lexus LC500. It’s more of a downgrade than an upgrade for a 2021 model vehicle. The V8 engine of the Lexus LC500 was downgraded to a V6. As if the poor 29 mpg wasn’t enough, the price was hiked to more than $96,000, which is high for a hybrid, especially one with these disappointing features.

Disadvantages of Hybrid Cars on The Environment

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Hybrid cars may have their benefits. They are seen as very convenient and also eco-friendly. But in reality, they are not as environmentally friendly as their profiles suggest.

At the same time, most hybrid cars are eco-friendly. Others are not. They are worse than gas-powered cars; they were supposed to be better. 

It has been shown that hybrids produce more pollutants than electric vehicles and cause environmental damage. How? 

According to a report from the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT), most hybrids were driven in extra-urban driving, which uses gasoline more. 

It was also discovered that many hybrid car owners do not charge their cars often and would rather use gas. And since hybrid cars are heavier than gas-powered cars, they will use more fuels and emit more carbon (IV) oxide. These problems, combined, reduce the environmental benefits of hybrid cars. 

Are Hybrid Cars Worth It?

There is no denying the fact that hybrid cars are here to stay. They are convenient, cheap, and help you to save fuel. But as much as it has its advantages, it also has some disadvantages you should take note of. 

Remember that no one class of cars can fit every driver’s needs. While some are in the market for functionality, others are for fuel efficiency. You will also see people who let go of these two factors and go after power and performance. 

If you are someone who moves around a lot with your car, a hybrid car will come in handy. It would save you lots of money since you won’t have to buy so much fuel. 

However, you have to know that having this car can become a burden to you, especially when you have to replace the battery or change an old component.