Many people are looking into buying a hybrid to save the environment from the gas guzzling cars, old trucks, and other pollutants that are slowing devouring our atmosphere or at least punching holes in the "ozone".
When you do look at hybrids the Toyota Prius and the Honda Civic are very attractive since they are smaller cars and you know that with a smaller gasoline engine and an electric motor that of course you will be cutting down on emissions. These types of hybrids are great if you doing most of your driving in small areas such as cities and are not out on the open road and of course if you do not need a big vehicle. However, if you do quite a bit of driving and are out on the open road you may need to look at the Ford Escape or the Mercury Mariner. These two are bigger vehicles that will give you more comfort with city fuel economy of around 30 mpg. On average, all types of hybrid vehicles are around $1,000 more than their counterpart that uses only a gasoline engine.
All over the world, you can see more and more car makers turning to hybrids The Japanese are ahead of the rest. Americans are moving toward hybrids more models and other alternative fuel sources. The Germans are beginning to create gas/electric hybrids. A matter of fact, during the Frankfurt Auto Show, Mercedes, Audi, BMW and VW promised hybrids in their future. Both the Americans and German automakers have been introducing variable displacement engines once again such as an 8- or 6-cylinder engine that idles 2, 3, or 4 cylinders.
Hybrids do not excel on highway fuel economy. This is a known fact, that once out on the open road the electric motor is no longer in use and you are back using that gasoline engine that is like the car you owned before. However, diesel vehicles do very well on highway fuel economy. This is one branch that should be looked into a bit closer - a diesel hybrid. With a diesel hybrid, it is more likely that even more emissions would be lower. One such example is the Daimler Chrysler hybrid transit bus.
What is known about hybrid vehicles is that there are not extra maintenance costs, the speed is pretty normal in most cases; the batteries last as long as the hybrid car does, prices for reselling are still strong, and they do not have problems in cold weather or snow. The return on your investment with a electric vehicle may not be what you think, according to some research it could take you between 5 and 10 years to get yourself ahead of where you would be buying a gas vehicle. .
If you also have the idea, that the numbers you see on the sticker for the EPA are accurate then you may be mistaken. The numbers listed are almost always in a best case situation. The way you drive your car and even the road conditions will cause the EPA numbers to fluctuate. Those numbers on the sticker are from research that was done with good road conditions, no speeding, no jackrabbit starts, and of course, no rushing through the caution light before the light turns red. If you want to see the same numbers then you must drive exactly like was done to perform the tests.
Another reason not to buy a hybrid is the size. If you are a tall person then you may not be very comfortable in a Prius. Some tall individuals have complained about the interior not giving them enough headroom, while people of all sizes are not too thrilled with the rear view visibility because of the hatchback design of the Pruis.
Today, there are many automakers now creating all shapes and sizes of hybrid vehicles and we can only hope or better yet demand to see more options in the future.