In recent years the offer of hybrid vehicles has multiplied, either by the anti-pollution regulations that force, in the case of Europe, that average CO2 emissions of cars were 130 gr / km in 2016 and will reduce to 95 gr / km in 2020, or because the rising cost of oil has led car buyers to look for alternatives that allow them to spend less on their cars.
Types of hybrid cars
The consumption of a hybrid car is lower, especially in the city, than that of cars with a combustion engine exclusively, thanks to the combination of an engine (usually gasoline) with an electric motor (EV), which also reduces the emissions.
The main benefits of more conventional hybrid cars, such as the Toyota Prius (the first hybrid produced in series in 1997) is that they are able to store the electricity generated by braking and decelerations in the battery and can operate in electric mode in some Sometimes, as in sections of the city where fuel is spent the most, as long as it does not exceed a certain speed limit (approximately 60 km / h), although they have little autonomy in electric mode (EV).
However, there are other types of hybrids that combine a diesel engine with an electric motor. In this way the benefits of saving a hybrid in the city and those of diesel on the road are achieved.
They tend to be more expensive and complex and there is not much offer available. They emphasize the Peugeot 3008 hybrid 4 or the Mercedes Class E 300 BlueTEC Hybrid, which reduce the consumption and emissions of the versions with conventional engine.
The next evolution are the plug-in hybrids, which can be recharged directly in the electrical network and achieve greater autonomy in electric mode than the previous hybrids, such as the Toyota Prius Plug-In, the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV or the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid.
This is the way forward for manufacturers that are developing hybrids with increasing autonomy. Its price is for the moment too high in most cases and makes it very difficult to make a profit in the medium term.
Maintenance cost of a hybrid car vs gas car
We know that if we choose any hybrid model of those that are for sale now in Dubai, we will save on consumption. But what about maintenance?
The truth is that, in addition to being a good option for saving in consumption and the reduction of emissions, in addition the maintenance is lower than that of a car with a combustion engine.
Toyota explains this saving in that the hybrid systems do not include some elements, in the case of the full-hybrid (the models that combine gasoline and electric motor mixing them and obtaining the best of the two systems), like the clutch, the alternator, the starter motor or timing belt.
In addition, they allow for less brake system wear due to the recovery of the energy that the car makes for the electric motor. It must also be borne in mind that the electric motor is practically unbreakable and can last up to 500,000 km and the battery, meanwhile, lasts between 8 and 10 years (it is more durable in hot climates). Its replacement costs, now, around AED 12,982 equals to $3,533.
To support it with data, the Japanese company compares the maintenance costs of the same model, the Toyota Auris, a model that by itself represents 22% of the total sales of hybrids in the UAE, in its three versions: gasoline engine, diesel engine and the hybrid.
The conclusions are positive in favor of the latter, since while the maintenance during the first 120,000 kilometers of the car (including tires) amounted to 2,587, the maintenance of the gasoline engine Auris cost $ 4,689 = AED 17,231 and the diesel amounted to AED 23,447 = 6,383. It draws attention, the difference in maintenance between the hybrid and diesel is more than 50%.
However, if we test between a higher-end car, for example, the Lexus IS, the difference in maintenance expense between a combustion engine and the hybrid is not as high as that of the Auris. In the case of the Lexus, the maintenance of diesel costs an average of $ 1029 = AED 3,782, and the hybrid is about AED 2,682 = $ 730.
Is it better to buy a hybrid car?
However, the maintenance of a hybrid car is always lower. Although the purchase price is higher than a petrol and gasoline car, in the long run the savings in fuel and maintenance compensates. Especially now, that the supply of hybrid vehicles is much higher than a few years ago.
In addition, it has greater autonomy than the electric car and makes it more viable in the UAE, where recharging points are still minimal. Of course, it is necessary to know that at the time of suffering a breakdown or make a review can be more difficult for a driver of a hybrid car than another, since you would have to take the car to the original dealer for the repair is appropriate.
Regarding taxes, yes, having a hybrid car is also positive, since in many municipalities they are exempt from the road tax or, at least, they have a reduction.
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