Did you know that Canada’s first hybrid car went on the market in 1915?
OK, it’s true that at that time they didn’t catch on. It took more than 80 years for Toyota to enter the market with the car we probably most associate with hybrids – the Prius. After more than 20 years on the Canadian market they’re still selling in their thousands, but they’re far from the only game in town.
Ford, Mitsubishi, Honda, and Hyundai all have tempting hybrids, to name just a few. But what are the benefits of hybrid cars? Why should you leave your trusty gasoline or diesel engine behind and go for this gas/electric combination?
We’re going to give you ten reasons why your next car should be a hybrid car.
1. Helping Hand from the Government
The Government is actively encouraging people to turn to greener vehicles. Currently, transportation accounts for a quarter of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
They’re committed to decarbonizing the transport sector. To do this, they are moving to 100% of new light-duty vehicle sales being zero-emission by 2035.
You might have missed this benefit because you maybe wouldn’t think of a hybrid as being a zero-emission vehicle (ZEV). However, the Government of Canada classifies three types of cars as ZEVs:
- plug-in hybrid electric
- hydrogen fuel cell
The program is called Incentives for Zero-Emission Vehicles (iZEV). It offers incentives of up to $5000 for buying or leasing eligible vehicles.
For example, purchases of the following vehicles qualify for $5000 incentives:
- 2022 Ford Escape PHEV
- 2022 Hyundai Tucson PHEV
- 2022 Kia Sorento PHEV
Not sure about PHEV? That stands for plug-in hybrid vehicle.
They allow you to charge a battery pack in the car to extend the electric range. But it still gives you the backup of a gasoline or diesel motor.
Depending on where you live, there may be further incentives for buying a hybrid vehicle. Check out what’s available in your province before making a purchase.
2. Privileges for Hybrid Drivers
Since 2009, Ontario has run a pretty cool program that allows plug-in hybrid drivers a few perks on the road. It’s called the Green Licence Plate Program.
If your car is eligible, you can drive in High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) Lanes with any number of occupants. You can also travel in High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes on 400-series highways and the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) without a charge.
Perfect if you’re an Ontario resident who needs to get places faster. The plates don’t cost any more than regular plates and they’re not just for new plug-in hybrid vehicles. Even if you’re buying a used hybrid, you can still benefit from the scheme.
Quebec runs a similar scheme, so it’s not just Ontario residents who get privileges. This could make a real difference to the daily commute of many Canadians.
3. Better Fuel Economy
Gas prices in Canada are on the rise. It’s predicted that we could be paying as much as $2 per liter in the near future. That’s enough to make anyone take a long, hard look at the fuel efficiency of their car.
One of the most touted benefits of buying a hybrid car is that you’ll see savings at the gas station. The latest Government statistics say that’s true.
The Government ranks the most fuel-efficient vehicles in every vehicle class. In the compact, mid-size, full-size, and small station wagon categories, all the winners were hybrids.
The Toyota Corolla has long been popular in the compact category. The 2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid delivers combined fuel consumption of 4.5 liters per 100km. That works out at an annual fuel cost of just $900.
The most fuel-efficient full-size vehicle is the 2022 Hyundai IONIQ Blue. Considering the size of the vehicle, its 4.0 liter/100 km combined fuel consumption is impressive. The annual fuel cost is estimated at $800.
These models from mid-range manufacturers make hybrid motoring more accessible to all Canadians. And you could quickly see the savings adding up at the gas station. On average, you can expect hybrids to be around 30% more fuel-efficient than their regular gasoline counterparts.
4. Better for the Environment
Tailpipe emissions occur on all vehicles with an internal combustion engine. One of the benefits of hybrids is being able to eliminate these on short journeys around town. They’ll be able to complete them entirely on electric power.
They also reduce emissions while idling. Hybrids use an auto stop/start system. When you come to a halt, the engine cuts out and then starts again when you’re ready to set off.
They also make use of energy that is otherwise lost. When you press the brakes on a hybrid car, the energy that would otherwise be wasted is used to recharge the battery.
Of course, hybrid cars do still produce emissions. If you’re looking for a completely emission-free vehicle, you’ll have to go full electric. But if that doesn’t suit your wallet or your lifestyle right now, hybrids are a great halfway house option.
Something to bear in mind is that hybrids may not be as eco-friendly if you do a lot of driving on the highway. If you cruise at high-speed on a regular basis, the regenerative braking system doesn’t get a chance to work. If you do a lot of short journeys around town, you can see a greater benefit.
5. Long Warranties
In the early days of hybrid vehicles, the jury was out on how long the hybrid system, particularly the batteries, would hold up.
To allay fears, manufacturers started offering super-long warranties on the hybrid components. It’s a trend that continues to this day and can give you a lot of peace of mind, even if you’re buying a second-hand vehicle.
For example, the Ford Motor Company of Canada offers an 8-year/160,000 km (whichever occurs first) warranty on all their hybrid systems. While this doesn’t cover gradual capacity loss, they do provide tips on how to extend the capacity.
Toyota goes a step further. Their basic warranty is a 36-month/60,000km limited warranty. For hybrid systems, this extends to:
- 60-month/ 100,000km powertrain warranty
- 96-month/ 160,000km hybrid-related component coverage
- 120-month/ 240,000km hybrid battery warranty
Other manufacturers offer similar deals to cover their hybrid systems. Always make sure that the warranty is transferrable to the new owner in case you want to sell the vehicle in the near future.
6. Higher Resale Value
There are a lot of factors that affect a vehicle’s resale value. Think condition, mileage, age, spec, etc. However, hybrids do a great job of retaining their value due to their high level of desirability.
Hybrid technology is tried and tested and backed up by excellent warranties. This means that hybrid cars typically fare well on the resale market. They’re very desirable to people who want to reduce their carbon footprint while not being range limited.
They also have fewer moving parts and generally experience less wear and tear. In part, this is due to the fact that the gas engine runs for less time than in a regular car. That means that they require less maintenance than other types of cars.
One of the benefits of a hybrid car is that brakes need to be replaced less frequently. The regenerative braking system helps to slow the car down and is kinder to brake components.
All of this means less time out of action, fewer expensive bills, and lower servicing costs. Great for anyone looking to sell on the resale market.
Cars such as Toyota’s Prius V (which stopped production in 2017) was listed in a recent year as a top pick for holding its value. As with any car, do your research. Look at how previous years are performing on the resale market if you are considering buying a new hybrid.
7. Extended Range and No Hassle
Have you heard about range anxiety? It’s a real thing and thousands of EV users across the country face it on a daily basis. Canada is known for its wide-open spaces and that does not mesh well with fully-electric vehicles!
But it does combine well with hybrids. You still need to refuel fairly regularly on a long trip, but the electric engine actually helps to extend your range rather than hinder it.
Electric cars are a great idea, we all get that. But they come with a major drawback you just don’t get with a hybrid. They require a lot of forward planning.
It takes a small detour and a couple of minutes to fill up a hybrid car with gas for most of us. Sure, it uses fossil fuels, and in time we want to move away totally from them. But regular hybrid cars allow you to hit the road with no planning at all.
With an electric car, you’ve got to remember to charge it the night before. If you’re going on a long trip, you need to research charging points along the way. You also need to factor in time to hang around doing nothing while the car recharges.
Electric vehicles are the way forward, but there’s still a way to go before they can match the convenience of a hybrid.
8. Discounts from Some Insurers
Insurers are generally more interested in the value of your car than how much good it does to the environment. Many companies will look at efficient cars like Teslas and charge more because they’re expensive to purchase and repair.
However, now that hybrid cars are more common, you could reduce your insurance cost by buying a hybrid.
This is called a ‘green vehicle discount’ and usually runs at 5%. You don’t usually need to ask for it. It should be applied when you request a quote.
As with any vehicle, it’s always a good idea to shop around to find the best price for the coverage you need.
9. Quiet Driving
Traditionally fueled vehicles can be seriously loud. Of course, top prize goes to diesels, but petrols can create a lot of noise as well.
Hybrids are the complete opposite. New drivers find themselves checking whether the engine is really switched on. They produce much less noise pollution which is great for the neighborhood.
There’s no need to announce your return to the whole street when you come home late at night. Hybrids allow you to slip in and out inconspicuously. Just make sure people crossing the road see you coming!
10. Great Driving Experience
Are you looking for a highly responsive car? One that’s quick off the mark and accelerates like a dream? A hybrid car could be just what you’re looking for.
There’s a smoothness to driving a hybrid that is tough to beat. Especially at low speeds and around town as they are propelled entirely by electricity.
Many luxury car manufacturers have incorporated hybrid technology without losing loyal customers. This demonstrates the fact that they continue to be an extremely fun drive, even though they’re emitting fewer harmful gases.
In fact, one of the best things about driving a hybrid is that for the most part, it feels so familiar. Apart from the quietness, most of the time you’ll forget you’re not driving a regular car.
The Undeniable Benefits of Hybrid Cars
The benefits of hybrid cars start the day you buy them and continue through their lifetime. They’re fun to drive, kinder to the environment, and save money on gas week in, week out.
They also usually hold their value better than their conventional rivals. There’s no need to worry about recharging with regular models and no range anxiety!
At CarsFast.ca, we can help you find a great deal on your next car. We believe that bad credit shouldn’t stop anyone from accessing reliable transportation. We’ll match you with finance deals and car dealerships so you can find your next car with ease.
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