• Question: How efficient are hybrid cars in comparison to non-hybrid cars?

    Asked by KarenM to Ahmed, Francesca, James on 20 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: James Sullivan

      James Sullivan answered on 20 Nov 2014:

      Hi Karen,

      I’m well placed to answer this – I have a Prius.

      The car is quite efficient in the summertime, in the absence of traffic and not on a motorway. I can get 4.2 L per 100 km (my wife’s diesel car never gets below 6.5 L / 100 km).

      In the winter – when the weather is cold I get less than that because the engine has to be at 150 °C for it to work – and sometimes you’ll end up burning fuel just to keep the engine hot.

      This is especially true if you’re in traffic and the car’s engine cools down (on average I get 5.4 L / 100 km in the winter).

      The car’s batteries recharge from braking and therefore you don’t get a lot of battery power produced when you’re driving on motorways. So you want relatively free flowing traffic – with lots of stop / start for excellent efficiency (driving downhill helps as well!!).

      The best I’ve ever done is 3.8 L / 100 km, when I had nearly an empty tank (so I was carrying less weight) during a very warm week this summer (when traffic in Dublin was very good).

      Sorry I’ve gone on – I like talking about the Prius….

    • Photo: Francesca Paradisi

      Francesca Paradisi answered on 20 Nov 2014:

      Love James’s answer, I can confirm, he is really fond of his Prius!

    • Photo: Ahmed Osman

      Ahmed Osman answered on 20 Nov 2014:

      Dear KarenM
      You are always having the most interesting questions 🙂
      For sure I’d like the hybrid car for very good reason. A hybrid car is one that uses more than one means of propulsion. At the moment, that means combining a normal petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor (money-savers). The chief advantages of a hybrid are that it uses less fuel and emits less CO2 than most conventional non-hybrid vehicles. So we can decrease the global warming that threats the Earth by using hybrid car.
      So it has a lot of advantages like:
      1. Environmentally Friendly
      2. Financial Benefits
      3- Less Dependence on Fossil Fuels
      4- Regenerative Braking System
      5- Built From Light Materials
      6- Higher Resale Value
      However it has disadvantages like
      1- Less Power
      2- Can be Expensive
      3- Poorer Handling
      4- Higher Maintenance Costs
      5- Presence of High Voltage in Batteries

      Hope this help 🙂