5 Hybrid Car Facts and Myths

November 6, 2013

Myths still surround hybrid cars, so for that reason alone it is imperative to separate them from the hybrid car facts. From the need for wall sockets to the inconvenience of fuel cells, the fact that there is so much negative press about hybrids is proof they are doing something right. People often have a hard time accepting change, especially when it involves something as sacred as what they think about automobiles. America has evolved around the car through the entirety of the last century, so it is understandable that many misconceptions about hybrids still exist. An attempt to set the record straight, this list will divide fact from fiction in the hopes of educating the skeptical holdouts.

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The Top 5 Hybrid Myths vs. Facts

Myth One: Hybrids Require Plugs to Recharge.

    Fact: Modern hybrids use a system known as regenerative charging. Every time you apply the brake on your hybrid, the gas engine transfers a portion of electrical power back into the battery, thereby automatically recharging the battery. By keeping it charged between 40 and 60 percent of its maximum capability, hybrid batteries enjoy a long life, one that is guaranteed by some manufacturers up to 100,000 miles.

    Myth Two: Hybrids Have No Power.

      Fact: The performance level of hybrids is continually increasing. New technology allows many of the same attributes of high-powered vehicles to be applied in hybrids. The Lexus GS 450h has more than 300 horsepower and can beat many gas powered vehicles in a 0 to 60 road test. Just because hybrids are known for their fuel efficiency does not mean they are underpowered.

      Myth Three: Hybrids are Cost Prohibitive.

        Fact: The Toyota Prius starts at about $22,000--same with the Honda Civic Hybrid. It is true that hybrids can cost as much as $100,000 or more, but nobody seems to make the same complaint against gas powered cars even though a Ferrari might set you back $500,000. Like many of the myths surrounding hybrids, this is one that is completely unfounded and based more on fear of systemic change than on fact.

        Myth Four: Hybrids are the Cars of Bleeding Heart Liberals.

          Fact: Although branded with the stigma that hybrids or other AFVs were solely the possession of left-leaning, liberal-minded consumers, the truth simply proves this to be another false claim made on the basis of prejudice and fear of the new. While purchasers of hybrids may have primarily been liberals in the beginning, as the facts become known and the benefits praised highly, conservative drivers have jumped on board the hybrid bandwagon, as have auto workers, both of whom realize that fuel efficiency trumps simplistic bias any day.

          Myth Five: Hybrids are the Cure-all for Foreign Oil Dependency.

            Fact: Although almost 37 times as many hybrids were sold in America in 2007 than were sold in 2000, it represented only 2.5 percent of the total cars sold that year. By some estimates, if the 350,000 consumers who purchased a hybrid in 2007 each saved one gallon of gas per day, the total savings is still just a drop in the bucket. The fact is that hybrids, although they present a clear alternative to over-consumption of fossil fuels, do not solve all of America's problems when it comes to foreign oil.

            The myths surrounding hybrids are slowly being erased, but as with much misinformation, it has a tendency to spread faster than the truth. The good thing about the facts, though, is that they will come out no matter how long it takes. As more people learn what is true about hybrids, it will catch on with the public consciousness.