Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Will your next car be a Hybrid design?

It was recently my very great pleasure to accept a lift in a friends Toyota Prius - probably the most recognised Hybrid (Petrol/Battery duel fuel driven car) on the roads in Britain.

It certainly set my mind thinking when it comes to replacing my ageing Mazda - large, comfy, and great fuel economy. He's not exactly a slow driver either and the car seemed as quick as mine. So I thought I'd look into Hybrid cars a little more - what are the running costs, what savings can I expect to make, how much are they to service and how long are the batteries meant to last?

I found the answers here in the column below, at What Green Car website.

Have you been thinking about a Hybrid car for your next family transport? Perhaps the following will?

"Most running costs are less for hybrids than conventional vehicles. In particular, the higher capital costs are offset by lower fuel costs due to the high fuel economy of the vehicles themselves. As is the case with carbon emissions, hybrids typically use 15%-30% less fuel per mile, depending on driving conditions and whether a mild or strong hybrid design is used.

For drivers in and around London (and other cities that may follow London's example), the other major running cost to consider is the Congestion Charge. As most hybrids are in PowerShift Band 4, they receive a 100% discount on the London Congestion Charge (although owners of hybrids need to register with Transport for London and pay an annual £10 fee). With a £8 payable daily charge, this could provide a potential annual saving of up to £2000. The PowerShift Register lists vehicles that qualify for London Congestion Charge discounts.

Due to their novelty and use of state-of-the-art batteries, servicing, maintenance and repair costs remain somewhat unknown. Although there is good reason to think that these costs will remain similar to those for conventional cars, servicing may require going to a specialist centre. In order to reduce consumer uncertainty, many hybrid car manufacturers provide high-mileage warranties that cover the additional hybrid components (typically for 8-10 years or 100,000 miles)."

*prices and figures quoted are directly from the article as it appears on What Green Car. Please click here to read their full guide to Hybrid-Cars.

photo credit: kinghuang

1 comment:

  1. The Hybrid cars are great but really expensive in Canada - not sure what the price is like in the UK.
    They need to make them more affordable and there would definitely be more motorists choosing them.