The benefits of hybrid cars are many, particularly on the environment, reducing the amount of pollution from carbon dioxide emissions. The United States Department of Energy has reported that on average, a hybrid vehicle uses approximately 1/3 less gasoline than a standard internal combustion engine vehicle. The reduction in the use of gas directly reduces the amount of carbon dioxide released into the air.
- Fewer emissions. Carbon-based emissions are the number one cause of global warming. Depending on usage, a hybrid car will emit 25 to 90 percent less than a 100 percent gas engine car. Hybrid vehicles produce lower levels of gas fumes from exhausts, and contribute a lot less than internal combustion engines to creating smog. Because hybrid electric vehicles use less gasoline and create lower levels of carbon based emissions, our air will be cleaner and contain higher levels of breathable oxygen.
- Less oil consumption. Hybrid vehicles help protect non-renewable sources of energy like gasoline and other types of petroleum products. Gasoline and other petroleum products are created from fossil fuels and are not recyclable. This means that once they're gone, they can never be replaced. The earth contains a finite amount of fossil fuel resources.
- Lower maintenance costs. This is a common topic of discussion with hybrid cars; do they really cost more to maintain? Fortunately, the answer seems to be no. Most manufacturers of hybrid vehicles now include a 100,000-mile or 150,000-mile warranty on the hybrid drive system to encourage owners to make the switch. Most people that have concerns about the maintenance costs of hybrid cars are concerned with the possibility of replacing the battery system that is part of the hybrid drive system. This has proven not to be a significant problem on most hybrid cars.
- Other perks. There are a variety of other perks when you drive a hybrid car. Some states allow hybrids and other fuel efficient vehicles to use HOV lanes on the freeway. In addition, a few insurance companies offer a hybrid discount because they have found that drivers of hybrid cars are less likely to get in an accident.
As consumer demand for hybrids increases, manufacturers will be required to make innovative changes to hybrid vehicles that will make them more affordable, more reliable and hopefully someday remove the need for fossil fuels completely.