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Saving the World One Car at a Time: 4 Reasons Why a Hybrid Car is Worth It

Here are four ways you’ll benefit from buying a hybrid car.

If you’ve been curious about a hybrid purchase, knowing the advantages can aid your decision. Here are four ways you’ll benefit from buying a hybrid car.

HYBRID DEFINED

A hybrid vehicle combines a gas or diesel engine with an electric motor as its means of propulsion. Auto Evolution describes the five types of hybrids:

  • Parallel – The electric motor and internal combustion engine provide mechanical power simultaneously. The motor delivers added power for accelerating and recharges the battery when braking.
  • Series – The electric motor provides mechanical energy, run by either a gas-powered generator or battery. The series hybrid performs best during stop-and-go traffic. It’s also termed an “extended-range electric vehicle.”
  • Series-Parallel – The electric motor and engine can power the car independently or together. This type of hybrid is also called a power-split.
  • Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV) – The car can recharge its battery via an electric outlet as well as during driving. The larger battery makes it capable of longer distances on electric power.
  • Mild – The engine receives minor assistance from the electric motor. The car cannot be powered by pure electricity.

Autobytel cites the rewards of driving a hybrid:

Less Environmental Impact

Your carbon footprint is lighter. By burning less fuel, hybrids cut exhaust and emissions. Since they don’t idle much, they waste less fuel. When a vehicle stops, the gas engine turns off, resulting in fewer atmospheric pollutants and smog. In some states, hybrids are viewed as being so clean, they’re exempt from annual emissions testing.

Energy Trends Insider reports that hybrids drive roughly 5 mpg farther than their non-hybrid cousins. This improved fuel efficiency can potentially save the US nearly 2 million barrels of oil daily! Also, by relying less on fossil fuels, oil drilling wanes, with a corresponding decrease in harm to wildlife.

Hybrids reduce noise pollution since they’re almost silent when the gas engine isn’t engaged. Driving a hybrid offers a quieter ride than its counterpart. Populated areas also become more placid.

Government Incentives

As of 2010, plug-in hybrids are eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500. The amount depends on battery capacity. To determine the allotted credit for a specific make and model, refer to the US Department of Energy table here.

Through 12/31/16, you’re eligible for a federal tax credit on charging equipment. If your charging station is on personal property, the credit is 30 percent of the station’s cost or $1,000, whichever amount is less. If the charging equipment is on business property, the credit is 30 percent of the equipment’s cost or $30,000, whichever figure is less.

States typically offer additional incentives, such as income tax rebates and discounts on vehicle registration. To see your state’s incentives, refer to the nationwide map here.

Reduced Fuel Costs

Driving a hybrid saves fuel expenses. This is especially profitable if you have a long commute. In heavy traffic, you’ll drive solely on battery power. In a September 2016 article, Autos Cheat Sheet advises there are three hybrids costing the same as their non-hybrid versions. Driving one saves you money at the pump from Day 1.

The gems that deliver this benefit are the Lincoln MKZ, Buick LaCrosse, and Buick Regal. The MKZ, for example, can save you approximately $560 per year, based on current gas prices.

Preferential Status

  • HOV Access – Many states allow PHEVs on high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes with only one occupant. Reduced tailpipe emissions render this privilege. To be eligible, apply for a Clean Special Fuel Vehicle Plate or Decal, and display it on your car. Plug In America indicates which states offer HOV lane access to PHEVs. See if your state participates in this program here. Look for the yellow symbol.
  • Parking – Some localities offer discounted or free parking for PHEVs at public and commercial building sites. Look for the purple symbol on the Plug In America map.
  • Charging Rates – Utilities may offer PHEV owners reduced charging rates. Look for the blue symbol on the national map.

Hybrid Maintenance

When it comes to maintenance it is essential for you to find the best possible people to work with. Looking into places like Arnold Motor Supply can really help save you time and money in the long run. When you take extra time to do your research and look into different places you are almost guaranteed to find the best possible help for you.

Overall, hybrid cars are the way of the future. It really is amazing to see the great impact that they can have on the environment. If everyone were to invest in a car like this we really could save the world one car at a time.

Kara Masterson, the author of this article, is a freelance writer from Utah.

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