The question “Is a hybrid worth it?” is really two questions. “Is it worth it financially?” and “Is it worth it for the environment?”.
In this short article, I’ll try to answer both. (Please feel free to skip ahead if you wish.)
How Much Is A Typical Hybrid? Is It Cheaper Than A Battery EV?
Given that charging stations for Battery EVs still aren’t as prevalent as gas stations, you might be tempted to invest in a hybrid until the situation improves.
But if it’s too costly, you might wonder if it’s worth the bother.
In the US, hybrids range in price from around $20,000 for a “cheap” model, and to over $100,000 for a luxury, high-end model.
They tend to be considerably more expensive than their ICE counterparts, which average out at about $46,000. On the whole, hybrids can be up to 20% more expensive than conventional cars.
In contrast, the average price of a purely electric car comes in at about $56,000.
So really, although there’s much talk about hybrids and battery EVs being much more expensive than traditional cars, the truth is that if you wish to, you can pick up a hybrid (or a regular EV for that matter) for cheaper than you would for the average price of a conventional car.
And How Much Does It Cost To Fill The Tank Of A Hybrid?
But if you were to charge your hybrid at home every night, surely you’ll make considerable savings when it comes to fuel charging…
The size of a hybrid’s gas tank does vary with each model.
A Toyota Highlander Hybrid has a whopping 17.7 gallon gas tank, while a RAV-4 hybrid holds 14.5 gallons of fuel, while a Corolla hybrid has an 11.4 gallon tank.
So, for argument’s sake, let’s say you go for a Corolla hybrid.
If the battery runs out of charge, and you have to fill up the tank with gas, this will set you back just $57.11 (if the average price per gallon is $5.01). This is enough to get you moving up to over 400 miles.
So, on this basis, I think it’s safe to say that, if you only use gas intermittently, filling up your hybrid’s gas tank is very affordable in the scheme of things.
When Will Battery EVs Be A More Viable Option?
Predictions are currently being made that by about 2050 between 60 and 70 percent of cars on the road will be EVs.
And to meet this demand, there will need to be sufficient charging stations across the country.
This prediction is based on half of all cars sold by 2030 being electric, suggesting that more charging stations will be set up by this earlier date of 2030 if this is to be viable.
A brand-new hybrid will last between 12 and 14 years before the battery quits.
So, it may be worth buying a hybrid now until there are more charging stations set up and then investing in a regular EV after 2030.
Is A Hybrid Worth It Financially?
If you’re savvy with your spending, and you’d be just as happy with a relatively cheap hybrid car than a needlessly expensive one, then you can safely argue that investing in a hybrid is well worth it financially.
As we have covered, some hybrids can cost less than the average price of a conventional car and depending on the size of the tank, fuel costs are quite reasonable on the occasions you will need to fill up with gas.
How Good Or Bad For The Environment Is A Hybrid?
Now, this is where things get complicated…
It turns out that the material in the battery of a hybrid can be almost completely recycled.
So any damage to the environment caused by the lithium mining to manufacture the battery doesn’t all come to nothing once the car is no longer functioning.
But, that said, it turns out that hybrids are not necessarily always better for the environment than conventional gas powered cars when it comes to how they use gas.
Hybrid cars are heavier than regular cars and for this reason, it requires more fuel to power them for the same speed. And for this reason, they consume more fuel, which in turn means that their greenhouse emissions are higher.
But, for someone who charges their hybrid up at home every night, and only uses the gas tank when absolutely necessary, you could argue that the cost to the environment is minimal and cannot be avoided.
On the whole, hybrid cars tend to have lower carbon dioxide emissions than their conventional car counterparts.
Not just because of their ability to operate in electric mode only when selected, but they have an improved fuel economy too.
It’s also worth noting at this point that some hybrids are better for the environment than others.
So, if you’re interested in getting yourself a hybrid, if you do your homework on the subject, you can pick one that has minimal impact on the environment.
So, technically speaking, you can actually pick up a hybrid for less than the average price of a conventional car, provided the vehicle is to your liking, and you’re not just looking for an expensive hybrid as a luxury item or status symbol.
And fuel prices are still reasonable, too.
And when it comes to environmental concerns, we may never come across a vehicle that’s completely classed as good for the environment (beyond a bicycle).
So, I would argue that if a battery EV doesn’t feel viable to you just now, it would well be worth investing in a hybrid.
Because provided that you charge it up at home every night, the environmental cost in terms of carbon dioxide emissions is minimal.
Hybrid prices are going up at the moment, so if you’re thinking of investing in one, it would be better to do so sooner rather than later.