Why you should consider a hybrid vehicle

Driving a hybrid vehicle is a great way of saving money

Reuben Van Niekerk
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With the fuel price breaking new records every month, many consumers are looking for ways to save fuel and that search is leading many motorists to take a serious look at electric vehicles.


While electric vehicles will most certainly be the next best thing, we are still a few years away from them becoming a mainstream choice in South Africa.

Hybrid vehicles on the other hand offer a great stepping-stone to a cleaner more fuel-efficient powertrain and offer a number of advantages.


They are light on fuel

Hybrid vehicles utilise a combination of a petrol engine and an electric motor. The electric motor will drive the vehicle at slower speeds, such as in stop start traffic or when driving in a residential area. The petrol engine will take over once speeds exceed a certain point, which is normally between 20 and 30km/h.


The electric engine is powered by a battery that is charged by the petrol engine or via regenerative braking. Regenerative braking transforms the kinetic energy of the braking effect and stores it in the battery, which basically charges the battery at no cost


A hybrid system offers significant fuel saving characteristics and allows larger cars to be as fuel efficient as compact cars with small capacity engines. A look at the list of the 20 most fuel efficient cars on sale in South Africa at the moment sees hybrid vehicles occupy the first eight positions.


This technology results in vehicles that will use as little as half the fuel of a conventionally powered vehicle of the same size.


They are kinder to the environment

Due to the fact that hybrid vehicles use a seamless stop start system and rely on their electric motor when commuting, especially in traffic, the internal combustion engine will very rarely be idling during these conditions.


This phenomenon along with their overall efficiency means that hybrid vehicles emit significantly less C02 emissions. This means that they are much kinder to the environment and will also attract less C02 taxes, which are charged according to the amount of emissions.


Hybrid vehicles have become more mainstream and more affordable

Hybrid technology has become much more mainstream in recent years and can now be found in affordable vehicles such as the Toyota Corolla Cross and Honda Fit, where it helps these vehicles to achieve astonishingly low fuel consumption figures.


While the purchase price of hybrid vehicles is still slightly more than that of a conventional vehicle the gap is narrowing, and the fuel savings will quickly make them the more affordable choice