Over the last 20 years, we’ve seen quite an evolution in the kind of cars we drive. The engines we have in our cars are all computerized and electronically controlled. Just go ahead and pop the hood of your car, you’re going to see a whole lot of wires and sensors attacking your engine block from every angle. Without even a single sensor, the car’s ECU (Engine Computer Unit) wouldn’t know how much fuel to dump into the cylinders and your car would probably not even start, instead you’ll get an error reading in your cockpit. Cars in the earlier days were of course way simpler than this. You step on a pedal, you get gas and air into the engine, it ignites, and you drive. These computerised cars we have these days have great fuel efficiencies because of their EFI systems as well as great torque output.
However, lately there’s been a trend of these hybrid cars that take car technology a step further and divide the car’s power train into two components, the gasoline engine and an electric motor. The idea behind a hybrid car is to maximise fuel efficiency by having the car run using the motor instead of the engine itself most of the time. The engine can directly drive the car but it is primarily used to charge a battery unit which operates the electric motor that drives your car when you’re cruising at a constant speed or idling. This is the kind of set up on board the iconic Toyota Prius. You can manage an average millage of up to 60 miles per gallon from a car like this if you drive calm and even if you are a fast driver, these hybrid cars are still quite the treat for you since they’re being driven by an electric motor by default, when you floor the gas pedal and the engine kicks in, you get a fresh amount of torque that sends your car speeding. What’s more is that hybrid cars are very, very quiet. There’s no combustion going on in the electric motor and therefore there’s no roaring engine sound most of the times.
Now comes the important question. Hybrid cars are great and very innovative, but are they the right cars for you? Well that really depends on your driving habits as well as your style. Maybe a Toyota Prius might not be the car that earns you the most street credits but there are many other Hybrid cars out there as well. BMW, Honda, Mercedes-Benz are all manufactures of very edgy looking hybrid cars as well. So it is in fact possible to own a hybrid car that’s more aggressive looking and has more luxury than the Prius. Even Toyota has bigger and badder Hybrid Models as part of their line-up. If you commute a lot and want to be friendly to the environment, you should consider a hybrid car. Think of all the money you will save on fuel and engine maintenance!