Hybrid cars are the sensible way ahead for the future of motoring. The further they develop, the more the electrical side of things will take over from the fuel; it’s an inevitable progression.
As the name suggests, hybrid cars combine small, fuel-efficient petrol engines with an electric motor to give motorists the best of both worlds. The electric motor helps out when needed so the petrol engine doesn’t need to work as hard. So, the emissions are less and the mpg a lot better.
The problem is – they cost more to buy.
Whether or not the current range of hybrids justifies the additional expense is another matter. It all depends how long you intend to keep it.
The petrol or diesel saving and road tax, as things stand, will take many years to make up. But it’s not just a matter of money for most consumers who go with a hybrid; it’s a positive environmental choice.
Nevertheless, to make up the economic difference between the two – one or more of three things has to happen quickly:
- Governments must offer increased subsidies or tax cuts to make the initial purchase decision more of a no-brainer for those motorists who would like to buy a greener car if the differential in initial purchase price wasn’t quite as great as it currently is.
- The technology needs to improve markedly such that the fuel saving from the electric motor kicking in is far greater.
- Manufacturing economies need to improve quickly to the point where the initial purchase price of hybrids is a lot closer to that of their equivalent conventionally powered cars.
It seems likely that all these things will happen given time. Hybrids are, after all, a sensible middle ground between the gas guzzling 4×4 monsters of the Nineties and early Noughties, and the all-electric cars which remain impractical for the vast majority of motorists for the time being.