If someone asked you, in 2001, if you would ever own a hybrid or electric vehicle in your lifetime, you may have answered, “No Way.” Fast-forward 20 years, and it is much more likely that a hybrid or electric vehicles will take up space in your driveway, at some point. Nearly every auto maker has a hybrid lineup, and many have even set dates for phasing out traditionally fueled vehicles.
I receive regular phone calls from customers who are preparing to purchase a vehicle. They want a mechanic’s perspective on what type of vehicles are reliable or if the car they are excited about is a “good car.” As fuel prices continue to rise, I have noticed that more people are considering the shift to hybrid or electric platforms. However, they often share the following comments and questions: “is it really worth it to by a hybrid vehicle?” “I’ve heard the batteries can be worth more than the whole care” “With all of the electronics, how many miles can I expect before the car has gremlins?” “Will it be hard to find someone to work on it?”
The currently hybrid movement began to gain momentum in 2004 with the release of the Generation 2, Toyota Prius. I will admit that I was skeptical, but I have been pleasantly surprised. I have owned 3 Prius’ (Prii) and have been extremely impressed with fuel mileage, reliability, and minimal maintenance needs. The Prius is the poster child for hybrid technology, but there is a hybrid platform for almost any need. If you have a commute of less than 40 miles, the Chevy Volt may be the car for you. The Volt can travel up to 50 miles on full-electric but has a gasoline generator that extends the range to 400 miles, making it very versatile. If you are looking for a fuel efficient cross-over SUV the Toyota highlander provides 3rd row seating, 4-wheel drive, and approximately 30 miles per gallon. If you are looking for a powerful truck, the 2022 Toyota Tundra offers the highest horsepower and torque specification in its history from a hybrid platform, and it is rumored to get nearly 30 miles per gallon.
In Conclusion, hybrid and electric technology is here to stay. The good news is that we have enough time, testing, and data to prove their reliability. I don’t know if a hybrid or electric vehicle is right for you, but I would be happy to discuss the pros and cons, and help you make a wise decision on your next vehicle purchase.