Disadvantages of Hybrid Cars
Hybrid cars are trendy and many people would love to have them. Some drivers would want to make an environmental statement with the cars, others may be fashion lovers, and trendsetters would love to own new machines. However, these cars are not for anyone who would love to save his money and is not ready to face the many difficulties accompanied by owning a hybrid car. People should therefore not buy hybrid cars, because they are less safe, expensive, not easy to handle, and use untested technology.
Hybrid cars are still out of reach for many people. These modern cars are estimated to be among the most expensive machines of all time. The price of the cheapest hybrid car is estimated to be around $20,000 for a new Toyota prius if bought in the United States of America and 16,000 pounds when bought in the United Kingdom. This is the biggest drawback for these cars, as they would create holes in the buyers’ pocket (Sovacool, & Hirsh, 2009). It is argued that the expensive cost is later refunded through the tax exemption in most countries and low running cost. The prices are expected to go down soon in the near future when more and more people have chosen to enjoy the superior quality regardless of its price.
Hybrids such as the Toyota prius are designed to use hydride batteries. This is very dangerous to human beings and their presence in the atmosphere. The hybrid cars such as the prius are known to use high voltages, even though the manufactures claim to have reduced the risks associated with the high voltage. These batteries have extra ordinary weight, which make it very difficult to handle by some people
When a car is involved in an accident, a person can easily be exposed to the deadly hydride, which can lead to death. The high voltage could cause electrocution to the passengers in case of an accident. The rescuers would therefore have a very hard time when trying to save the passengers because they can also be electrocuted in the process.
The light electric engine, gasoline engine and the powerful batteries makes the car heavy and take up a lot of space in the car (Graham, 2001). The heavy weight of the car makes it less fuel-efficient and the effort to cut down weight by the manufactures has led to the downsizing of battery and motor, a fact that has contributed to poor support in the body and suspension.
The batteries are also designed to be part of the power train, this means that when the battery runs flat then the whole system shuts down and the battery must be replaced. Replacing a battery would require that the car owner buy a new battery from dealers or have a refurbished battery from the local mechanics (Sovacool, & Hirsh, 2009). This would have been a little easier to deal with if it was possible to predict when the batteries would go flat, because the batteries may last longer in some cars than in others.
The batteries used by hybrid cars are affected by extreme cold conditions. This therefore mean that for those people who live in very cold climatic conditions, for example the south and north poles, then their hybrid cars would not be effective in saving fuels because it would be operating on gas. The car battery may therefore fail to deliver in cold season without a warning, this would cause inconvenience to the car owner.
Hybrid cars use only batteries to power its operations, this makes the vehicles very silent, and although this should be taken as a disadvantage, it can lead to injuries. The visually impaired people sometimes depend on the sound of machines to guide their movements, but when a car does not produce any sound, the driver may assume that a person is seen the vehicle yet he cannot (Ehsani, Gao, & Miller, 2007). During the test on blind people, almost all the blind pedestrians admitted that they could hardly hear the hybrid car approaching. Parents should also be concerned with this feature because children are not always keen when they walk along the road, they may decide to play as they walk and this makes a silent car a real danger to them.
Poor Handling and Less Power Output
The vehicles have also been criticized for being less powerful as compared to the conventional cars. The dual engine makes the engine of the hybrid cars smaller as compared to the engines of the ordinary cars. The electric motor of the car is also low powered which adds to the less power (Graham, 2001). These cars are also criticized for having slower acceleration. This makes the users frustrated, added to the fact that it makes them respond very slowly to the traffic, which can land them on the wrong side of the law.
Hybrid car owners therefore should be ready for more accidents in the road and more tickets from the traffic authorities. The silence means other drivers and pedestrians would not hear you approaching, this would not be a good combination to anyone on the road. Even with the help of the electric motor, the engines of these cars are still not as powerful as the ordinary cars.
The manufactures of hybrid car use large amount of carbon because, unlike other cars, hybrid cars requires extra elements like the twin drive trains (Sovacool, & Hirsh, 2009). The recent studies have proved that these manufacturing plants emit huge pollution and use more energy more than the manufacturing plants of other ordinary cars.
Hybrid cars like the Toyota prius are not easy to service and may need to be serviced at the manufacturer’s garages. Other garages may not have the equipment needed for the routine servicing of hybrid cars. This means that the owner of a hybrid car would have to move his car to where the manufactures have garages or take it back to the manufacturing company for servicing (Ehsani, Gao, & Miller, 2007). This would prove to be very expensive, a matter that cannot be over-looked. The owners would have to bear with this situation until hybrid cars are common in the market and their servicing equipments available in the local garages.
The servicing and maintain ace is also difficult because of the continuous improvement of the technology used by the car, the dual engine and the high cost of maintenance. The cost of repair is higher as compared to other cars and it is difficult to find a well-trained mechanic who can repair the hybrid cars (Sovacool, & Hirsh, 2009). The increased weight makes replacing breaks and tires almost a frequent activity, which also adds up to the higher maintenance cost of the car.
Graham, R. (2001). Comparing the benefits and impacts of hybrid electric vehicle options Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), Palo Alto, CA, Report, 1000349.Retrieved from < http://www.ourenergypolicy.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/2001_07_EPRI_ComparingHybridElectricVehicleOptions.pdf.
Ehsani, M., Gao, Y., & Miller, J. M. (2007) Hybrid electric vehicles: architecture and motor drives. Proceedings of the IEEE, 95(4), 719-728.
Sovacool, B. K., & Hirsh, R. F. (2009) Beyond batteries: An examination of the benefits and barriers to plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and a vehicle-to-grid (V2G) transition Energy Policy, 37(3), 1095-1103.Retrieved from < http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301421508005934>