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What's Your Favorite Hybrid Car Myth?

HybridI'm sure you've seen both sides of the coin by now with hybrid vehicles.  One side's championing and the other's lambasting on many points of interest.  Heck, there's probably even a small sector of people debating the debate on hybrids vs. conventional vehicles.

To which I say, whatever's clever.  At some point, all the facts and figures and testimonials won't change everyone's mind sooner rather than later.  Whether that's because of myths or not, I figured it's high time to list the best hybrid myths out there.  And at the end, if you want to pick your favorite from the bunch or add to the list, you're more than welcome.

Now on to the list!

Myth #1: Hybrids Are Still A Relative Unkown

While they may be intentionally unkown to some, hybrids are far from being a new property.  The "hybrid" car was orignially conceived way back in the late 17th century by Ferdinand Verbiest, who drew up plans to create a 4-wheel steam car for the Chinese Emperor, Khang Hsi.  And as for the first functioning hybrid, you only have to go nearly 100 years later to 1769, where Frenchman Nicholas Cugnot completed a steam-powered carriage that moved at a brisk 6 miles per hour.  Granted, it wasn't fast, but from a technical sense of the word, it's still a hybrid through and through.

Myth #2: Hybrid Tech Is Merely A Trend 

Technology is always evolving into something much more with every passing year.  Whether it's smartphones becoming smarter, home siding becoming more energy efficient or in the case of hybrid engines, becoming more advanced between all-electric reliance or efficient gas-electric motors, hybrid cars are evolving with every new model year.  Trends are reserved for disco.

Myth #3: Hybrids Only Appeal To Conservationists

This one's pretty easy to dissect.  Grouping a hybrid with a percentage of people who may be more eco-friendly than another is on the same level as saying the only people who buy a Porsche or Corvette are people approaching a mid-life crisis.  The reality is a hybrid appeals to every driver the same way a truck or sports car should appeal to every driver. 

Myth #4: Hybrids Will Eat Your Wallet

Unless you think you need a fully-customized hybrid RV to wisk you away all across the country, hybrids aren't as costly for a number of reasons.  One is that hybrid cars come in all different makes and models and are priced very reasonably.  It's not simply one manufacturer corning the market, as there are many avenues to consider.  Chevrolet has the Volt.  Toyota has the Prius and other hybrid-esque options with some of their longstanding models like the Camry or 4Runner.  Honda has the Insight (and ditto for some of their other recognizable models like the Accord).  Nissan has the 100% electric Leaf.  And so on.

Other benefits include the future savings with maintenance in association with the advanced battery cell and the higher fuel economy averages.  

Myth #5: Hybrids Are Weak Performers

I'll admit I first thought this when I tried to imagine how much power was sacrificed when a car runs electric for a given MPH and then converts to gas at higher speeds.   Same went for the notion of EVs and the performance stereotypes.

Reality is hybrid cars have always been above average performers and continue to improve every year.  Take the Lexus GS 450h for example.  It reaches up to 300 horsepower and has a better 0 to 60 time than many conventional cars in the same class.

Other hybrids with good performance marks:

  • GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid - 332 horsepower
  • Volkswagen Touareg Hybrid - 333 horsepower
  • Tesla Model S - 416 horsepower
  • Porsche Panamera - 380 horsepower


And there are many others on that list.  While they have not yet made an EV approach 400 horsepower, I'm sure engineers are currently drawing up future plans.  

 

Final Thoughts

Myths are a part of any discussion.  Without myth, the whole "debate" thing wouldn't be alive and well today.  Planes, trains and automobiles...everything has some slight fabrication to it, which makes debunking most of them so much fun.  And I'm sure I've left a few hybrid car myths off the table, so feel free to leave suggestions! 

 

Author Bio:  Freelance writer and frequent blogger on the automotive industry, covering everything from hybrid car details to auto repair tips and tricks.  He has also consulted for one of the leading new and used car dealers in St. Louis - and member of the Jay Wolfe Automotive family - Toyota of West County.