Blog Buying a Hybrid: Pros & Cons

May 7, 2024

Benefits and disadvantages of a hybrid vehicle vs a gas car

white hybrid charging, hand holding the charger

Are you thinking about buying a hybrid? Many Canadian drivers are making the switch to HEVs and exploring the pros and cons of hybrids.

S&P Global Mobility reports that BEVs accounted for 10.0% of registered vehicles in Canada in Q4 2023, while PHEVs made up 3.2% of registrations. As drivers slowly transition to a greener fleet, some of the first steps are to understand the different types of hybrid vehicles and the cost of maintenance requirements.

When considering a hybrid car, it's important to weigh the pros and cons based on your individual needs and priorities. Here’s a breakdown of some areas to consider.

Three main takeaways about the pros and cons of buying a hybrid:

  • Efficiency, environmental impact, lower operating costs, regenerative braking and technology features are some of the top pros to hybrid.
  • Higher costs, limited electric range, battery replacement, and charging infrastructure are some of the main cons of going hybrid.
  • While youre balancing the benefits and disadvantages of a hybrid, consider your driving habits, car insurance costs, and budget for a new ride.

What’s on this page

Hybrid vehicle pros
Hybrid vehicle cons
Is it worth buying a hybrid car in the long run in Canada?
Hybrid car pros and cons FAQs

Hybrid vehicle pros

A hybrid car is a vehicle that uses two types of motors to run. It has a standard combustion engine along with an electric motor. These cars are powered by a hybrid battery, which is smaller than a fully electric vehicle, and a conventional engine, also known as an internal combustion engine. As you read through the advantages of hybrid cars, keep this fact in mind.

  1. Efficiency: Hybrid cars are more fuel-efficient. They use gasoline and electric power or electric power for short distances.
  2. Environmental impact: Hybrids emit less than traditional gasoline vehicles, making them a greener choice, especially in cities where air quality is a concern.
  3. Lower operating costs: Hybrid owners spend less on gas due to better fuel efficiency, especially in city driving. Governments offer incentives like tax credits or rebates, further reducing overall costs.
  4. Regenerative braking: Regenerative braking technology captures energy during braking and converts it into electricity to recharge the battery, improving energy efficiency and extending the lifespan of brake pads.
  5. Technology and features: Hybrid vehicles are equipped with advanced technology that contributes to their efficiency and performance, such as regenerative braking, energy-efficient tires, and aerodynamic designs.

Hybrid vehicle cons

Gasoline-powered cars are equipped with a combustion engine and do not have an electric motor. For some drivers, easy access to fuel is a significant challenge when considering a switch to a hybrid or electric car. Some of the other top cons include cost and battery replacement. Here’s a look at the most popular cons to hybrids:

  1. Higher cost: Hybrid vehicles generally have a higher initial cost than gasoline. While fuel savings and potential incentives can offset this cost over time, it may still deter some buyers.
  2. Limited electric range: Hybrids are fuel-efficient but run on electricity and gasoline, limiting their electric range. They switch to gasoline when the electric range is exhausted. This may be better for long-distance driving or scarce charging stations.
  3. Battery replacement: The cost of replacing degraded or failed battery packs in hybrid vehicles can be high despite advancements in battery technology leading to longer lifespans.
  4. Performance: Hybrid models may sacrifice performance for efficiency, which could be a drawback for those prioritizing performance or towing capacity.
  5. Infrastructure: As stated earlier, plug-in hybrid vehicles need charging infrastructure to utilize their electric capabilities fully. Depending on your location, charging stations may be limited or difficult to reach, affecting the convenience of owning a hybrid.

Is it worth buying a hybrid car in the long run in Canada?

Drivers must make large-scale financial decisions when buying a car but also want something that will last. On average, Canadians are estimated to pay over $1,300 a month to own a car in 2024 – so choosing a hybrid isn’t always a fast decision, but it can pay off in the long run. Users on Reddit have posed the same question – Is it worth getting a hybrid vehicle in the long run.

Here are a few things to consider:

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Hybrid car pros and cons FAQs

One major concern with these cars is the battery. The lithium-ion batteries in hybrid vehicles also degrade over time, reducing battery performance. As a result, the battery may require longer charge times and hold less charge. In addition, repairs for these batteries can be expensive, ranging from $2,000 to as much as $10,000.

With proper hybrid vehicle maintenance, drivers can expect their car to last 10-20 years, or 250,000 kilometres.

Hybrids offer impressive efficiency that is easily noticeable while driving and in your wallet. With the electric motor taking care of initial low-speed acceleration and engine-off "sailing" powertrain functions, hybrid vehicles provide better average mileage than cars with only a traditional internal combustion engine. Choosing a hybrid option is often more cost-effective than their gas-only counterparts for compact and midsize cars and SUVs in the long run.

Compared to gasoline vehicles, hybrid cars use 40% less fuel in the city and 20% less on highways. Thus, they are great options for both city and highway driving.

Should a hybrid be your next vehicle?

If you are ready to buy an affordable hybrid car, don’t forget to set up and take advantage of any savings with hybrid car insurance.