Five Perks of Hybrids

Hybrids and energy-efficient vehicles are the future. They’ve made huge strides in recent years in technology, form and function. In fact, there are more than 40 different hybrid models available for sale in the U.S. today.

So, have you wondered how exactly hybrids are different from their gasoline counterparts – and what makes these innovative vehicles so amazing?  Here are what we refer to as the “Five Perks of Hybrids:”

1) Hybrids have a gas engine and an electric motor (aka a “hybrid” powertrain system). The electric motor supplements the gas engine when gas isn’t as efficient, which means it uses less fuel.

Many hybrids don’t need to be plugged in to recharge the battery. However, there are a new breed of hybrids like the Ford Fusion Energi and Ford C-Max Energi that are called “Plug-in
FordEnergiPlufHybrids.” These innovative vehicles boast larger batteries and more powerful electric motors. This combination allows the car to run in all-electric mode under more circumstances and for greater distances. To charge the larger battery, it’s most efficient to plug the car into an outlet, but it still will run as a conventional hybrid when the EV (Electric Vehicle) battery is dead.

2) The “feel” and sound of a hybrid is distinctly different from a normal car. 

Hybrids are a lot quieter. This is due to the electric motor running more often than the gas engine, which cuts the engine noise down to zero. According to Matt Mocabee, Butler Internet Coordinator and Ford C-Max Energi Owner, “This makes it a lot easier to hold conversations in your car.” In regards to feel, Butler Acura Product Specialist Patrick Ormerod and Ford Fusion Owner says “It’s incredibly smooth and responsive.”

3) Hybrid braking can feel different.

With some hybrids, when you take your foot off the brake pedal, you can feel the two different brake systems working. This is called regenerative braking. For a more detailed explanation of this amazing process, click HERE.

4) Hybrid vehicles brakes can last longer.

Regenerative braking is pretty amazing. It not only helps recharge the battery, but it also slows the car and saves the brakes in the process!

5) Many hybrids sacrifice cargo space or flexibility to make room for the battery. Batteries are what we consider a perk!

Most cars aren’t engineered solely as hybrids, so manufactures had to find someplace to store the extra battery. This results in a bit of decreased storage room, but when you think of the money staying in your pocketbook and not gushing down your gas tank, it seems like more than a fair trade-off.

M-Ford-C-MAX-Energi-1The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) can help you figure out the fuel economy of YOUR hybrid or the hybrid you have your eye on. They list fuel economy numbers HERE. This also calculates the estimated annual fuel cost of each car based on driving 15,000 on $3.70/gallon gas.

The fuel efficiency and resulting financial savings are huge perks and the reason why many people purchase these fantastic vehicles. The public is also becoming increasingly concerned for the health of our planet and saving valuable fossil fuel, so perhaps this is one of the most valuable “perks” of a hybrid.

Curious about a hybrid now? Want to take one for a spin? The Ford Fusion Energi and C-Max Energi are waiting for you at Butler Ford in Ashland!

To EV or Not to EV

2013 Ford Focus Electric

2013 Ford Focus Electric

With the ever fluctuating price of fuel ditching your gasoline engine in favor of an electric vehicle (EV) may be looking like a pretty good option. But it’s not that simple. There are things you need to know, specifically about factors that will affect range and the manufacture’s estimated MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent).

Electric vehicles are designed for niche markets and tend to be most efficient when driving on flat ground in a city setting. You’ll also have to consider what and who you’ll be hauling – if you think your EV would be great to carpool with your four burly buddies you’ll need to take into account how much they – and you – weigh. Or maybe you’re in sales and plan to load the cargo area with inventory. Again, weight will affect your EV’s efficiency. Before you buy, spend some time cruising around http://www.hybridcars.com.

You’ll find vehicle reviews, technology explanations, news, forums and a whole lot more. And if you do go electric (or hybrid) don’t forget to look into federal tax incentives. Pacific Power offers a breakdown of federal and state benefits and incentives.