It is no big secret that hybrid vehicles will save you money at the gas pump, but did you realize that those savings make the initial cost of a hybrid worth the investment? A hybrid vehicle will cost between 15% and 25% more than a traditional vehicle, but over a period of time that cost is recouped in gas savings. However, to really get the most fuel economy possible, there are three important things that you need to know about the car that you choose, how you drive it, and the battery within it.
To realize the best hybrid fuel economy, start with an efficient car.
Compared to gas powered vehicles, a hybrid is already between 20% and 35% more fuel efficient, but not all hybrids are created equally. Statistic Brain reports that in 2012, about 209,216 Honda Civic hybrid vehicles were sold. For 2013, the Honda Civic hybrid is ranked in the top 11 most fuel-efficient sedans by Edmunds.com. With a 44 city, and 44 highway MPG rating, the Honda Civic has a better efficiency than the Acura ILX hybrid, with 39 city, and a 38 highway MPG rating.
Hybrid fuel economy is affected by how you drive.
The United States Department of Energy recommends avoiding aggressive driving in order to increase fuel economy. Speeding up rapidly and braking suddenly invests an excessive amount of energy from gasoline in your car, and also wastes it. Driving aggressively can reduce gas mileage by as much as 33% when on the highway. Furthermore, most cars reach optimal fuel economy at around 50 mph, so it is worth sticking to the speed limit.
Your hybrid fuel economy is also dependent on the hybrid car battery.
Hybrid car batteries unfortunately will not last forever. In fact, most vehicles will need a hybrid battery replacement, as the batteries tend not to last as long as the lifespan of the rest of the car. As these batteries age, they lose their effectiveness, which can cause your hybrid to rely more heavily on gas to get the energy it needs to run, therefore decreasing fuel economy. On average, the hybrid battery cost in the United States is between $3,000 and $4,000, but replacing an old battery can have a great effect on recovering fuel efficiency.
If your goal is to save as much money on gas as possible, or just to drive a car that is less reliant on natural resources, then a hybrid vehicle is an excellent choice. Getting the most fuel economy that you can out of that hybrid depends on the choice of vehicle, how you drive it, and the strength of its battery. Remember these tips, and enjoy the feeling that comes with being able to ignore rising gas prices.