What Does Hybrid Mean When Shopping for Vehicles?

Just about every car manufacturer has a hybrid version of at least one of their cars. With global climate change concerns, people are looking at electric car options more seriously. 

It may seem like new technology, but hybrid cars have been around for over twenty years. You’ve no doubt heard the term a lot, but you may be asking, "What does hybrid mean?"

To put it simply, it’s not fully electric, but it’s also not fuel-powered. It’s better for the environment and it can save you money on gas, but you can expect to pay higher upfront and maintenance costs. 

Now let's get into some more detail about what hybrid is, the types of hybrid vehicles, and the pros and cons of hybrid cars. 

What Does Hybrid Mean in a Car?

A hybrid vehicle has at least one electric motor and one gas-powered one. Sometimes they take turns, and sometimes they work together. 

Electric batteries capture power through the car’s deceleration with a special braking system. 

Different hybrid designs create different outcomes for consumers. Some hybrid cars focus on fuel savings, while some focus on performance. Others keep the vehicle cost lower. 

Types of Hybrid Cars 

Hybrid vehicles have been on the market in some way for several years. As electric vehicle technology advances, more kinds of hybrid cars enter the market.

Parallel Hybrid 

Parallel hybrids are the most common hybrid design. In these, the electric motor and the gas-powered motor use the same transmission and work together to power the car. 

Series Hybrid 

This kind of hybrid is propelled by an electric motor. The gas power is solely for charging purposes. A series hybrid drives much more similar to a fully electric car. 

Plug-In Hybrid 

A plug-in hybrid uses less gas than any other hybrid vehicle. They have larger battery packs that you charge at an electric charging station (at your home, office, or electric charging spot). The car runs almost entirely off the electric battery until it’s depleted, and then it reverts to the gas motor to run like a parallel hybrid.

Electric and hybrid cars have some cool advantages. But hybrid cars still aren’t for everyone. Keep reading for some of the pros and cons of hybrid cars. 

Advantages of a Hybrid Car 

Electric cars may be the future. There are so many reasons people today are choosing electric and hybrid vehicles over traditional motors. 

Why hybrid?

  • More environmentally friendly 
  • Save money on gas
  • They’re quiet
  • Require less engine maintenance

For environmentally and economically conscious people, hybrid cars may seem like the obvious choice. But every car has its drawbacks.

Disadvantages of a Hybrid Car

Many people who like the idea of a hybrid car are still reluctant to purchase one. As a new technology, there are always some cons. 

Why not hybrid?

  • High upfront costs 
  • Maintenance costs are high (when needed) 
  • Still not 100% electric (still produces emissions) 

It’s understandable that many people still haven’t taken the leap to hybrid. Whether they’re waiting for the technology to advance or for costs to come down. 

Are Hybrid Vehicles Wheelchair Accessible? 

What does hybrid mean for people with disabilities? BraunAbility has one side-entry hybrid option, the Toyota Sienna. Other hybrid vehicles are eligible for wheelchair lifts and accessible seating. Visit our website for a list of wheelchair accessible vehicles and talk to your mobility dealer to see if your hybrid vehicle can be fitted with an accessible seat lift.

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