Archives – March 30, 2012

Why is the Cost of Hybrids so Astronomical?

The Toyota Prius was essentially the first popular hybrid car on the market. While most people liked the idea of purchasing a car that is ecologically friendly, few had the funds to purchase the new technology. As more competition starting showing up in the marketplace, prices began to fall to levels that are more reasonable. However, hybrid cars are still more expensive than a regular gas powered car. You’ll find that insurance also cost more for a hybrid.

Research and Development

Although we already have hybrid technology, researchers continue to look for ways to better the system. Finding a better way to hold electricity without the heavy batteries is the main goal. The research being done on different ways to power hybrid and electric cars may have far-reaching effects one day. It takes a lot of money for research and developing new ideas. There are always many great ideas that just do not seem to work out, and it is back to the drawing board again.

Two Engines

As you know, hybrid cars have two engines rather than the standard one. It only makes sense that an automobile with two engines would cost more. The electric motor starts the car moving and will continue until the car reaches around 30 mph (each car model may be different). Once the speedometer reaches 30 mph, the gas engine kicks in. The gas engine has all the parts a regular car has and then on top of that, you have to add the equipment that is required for an electric engine. It is the batteries that add most of the additional cost.

Components

Because hybrid technology is still relatively new and in flux, the components to make hybrid cars are expensive. As parts become more commonplace, prices will eventually come down to where the normal person can buy the new technology.

Marketing

When the Prius first came to America in 2007, the prices were higher than most could afford. Marketing targeted the high-end consumer with things like leather seats, GPS navigation, sunroofs and top line audio. As the technology has been perfected and hybrid cars become more popular, the prices have started to come down. They are still, however, more than a normal car.

Production Costs

This is probably one of the main reasons that hybrid cars cost more than a normal, gas powered automobile. Factories originally designed for gas-powered engines have to be redesigned or expanded to accommodate the manufacture of the electric portion of a hybrid.

Keywords: hybrid, batteries, electric car, gas engine

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