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We’re all being asked to be more eco-conscious these days. From not using plastic bags to carry our groceries to the car to being encouraged to buy electric and hybrid automobiles. While many of these measures have their “heart in the right place,” as the saying goes, are they really saving us money in the long run?
Higher Purchase Price
Unfortunately, being ecologically conscious means that if you want an electric or hybrid automobile, you’re going to pay a higher sticker price. This is because electric and hybrid vehicles require specialized parts that aren’t as readily available as those for a gas-powered vehicle.
Higher Repair Costs
Because of their custom parts, electric and hybrid vehicles are more expensive to fix. They’re also more complicated to perform your own routine maintenance on. These are not vehicles where if something breaks or isn’t functioning correctly you can pull into your nearest service station and have it repaired. Every time it needs maintenance of any kind, you’re going to have to return to your dealership for repairs.
Slower Highway Speeds
If you like to go on road trips, you may not be happy with how much slower your ecologically friendly vehicle is. All of those parts that make it electric or hybrid weigh a lot, and this affects performance. Hybrid and electric cars reach highway speed more slowly than their gas-powered cousins, and also tend to have lower high-end speeds. Additionally, since they tend to have smaller motors, these cars will lack power when it comes to passing other vehicles.
In the current state of technology, hybrid or electric cars make more sense if the majority of your driving will be done around town or in the suburbs. People who do a lot of highway driving may want to stick with gas-powered vehicles for now.
They May Not Last As Long
Something else to keep in mind is the fact that hybrid and electrics tend to not last as long as gas vehicles. If you’re someone who likes to drive their car for a few years after it’s paid off, electric and hybrid cars lose their resale value more quickly than gas cars.
Not As Good in the Snow
If you live in a region where snow-covered or icy roads are common, then electric and hybrid vehicles may not be the best choice for you. A lot of these vehicles have a feature where if the system detects that the wheels are spinning, like when starting back up after stopping at a red light, for instance, it turns off power to the wheels. Gas-powered cars are still the best choice for those who expect to have to drive in winter weather.
Limited Selection of Models
Once you’ve decided that a hybrid or electric car is right for you, be ready for a more limited selection of vehicles. Fewer models are made, so you’ll have fewer choices regarding options and size. Buying an electric or hybrid may mean having to compromise on features. Charging stations aren’t as readily available as gas stations. There’s an app to help you locate them, but that might not be something you want to have to bother with.
Insurance Might Cost You More
You might be surprised to learn that hybrid and electric cars are more expensive to insure. One factor is their higher purchase price. This also means that should you crash your electric or hybrid car, it’s going to cost you more to repair it. So not only is regular maintenance more expensive but so are major repairs.
There are Some Discounts Out There
There are some insurance companies offering large discounts for their members to drive hybrid or electric cars. This is something you’ll want to investigate. Ask your current company what their rates are prior to purchasing. You’ll also want to utilize a comparison auto insurance site to find a company offering this kind of discount to get the best rate possible. Some companies offer discounts of up to 5 to 10%.
There's a lot to consider when making the decision to purchase a hybrid or electric car. Costs to repair and maintain, the initial purchase price and a limited selection of vehicles are just a few of the factors to consider. In our growing, ecologically conscious world, hopefully, these kinds of cars will start to become more practical for everyone.