With the soaring fuel price, looming climate change crisis and traffic increase in South Africa’s major cities, ordinary citizens are seeking innovative solutions for a more sustainable future. Electric cars may be flying off showroom floors in countries including Norway, Iceland and Sweden, but in SA these vehicles are only an option for a small minority of the population due to exorbitant purchase prices. Is there a more affordable solution to our woes? Hybrid cars are not as out of reach as you might imagine, plus many of the options on the market require no charging. Is it time to sell your car for a hybrid?
Before we get into the list of pros, let’s look through the lingo used to classify these hybrid vehicles:
- Parallel hybrids: These cars are currently the cheapest options for hybrid vehicles in the country. They use the car’s electric motor at low speeds and fuel engine at higher speeds or when the electric charge is low. Examples on the market include the Honda FIT, the Toyota Corolla Cross and the Lexus UX250h
- Mild hybrids: These vehicles combine an electric motor + a fuel engine + a larger battery. They do not drive using the electric motor but use it to boost power when accelerating. The car is charged when the vehicle brakes or coasts. Examples include Volvo XC60 or the Range Rover.
- Plug-in hybrids: These cars are effectively the middle ground between fuel and electric engines. They have a larger battery which can be charged at home through household sockets or at charging stations (currently at limited locations in South Africa). They can be powered for longer on the electric engine before the fuel engine engages to power the car. Examples include the BMW X5 and Jaguar E-Pace.
We want to share 4 convincing reasons to make the switch from petrol or diesel to hybrid:
#1 Hybrids are more environmentally friendly
If you’re passionate about conscious consumerism, want to save the planet and reduce CO2 emissions, then a hybrid vehicle is your solution.
While European cities incentivise the purchasing of hybrid cars – encouraging motorists to invest in these environmentally responsible vehicles – that is not yet the case in SA. But that needn’t be your only motivation to spend money on a car that is greener, cleaner and better for the environment.
Hybrid vehicles are obviously not as environmentally friendly as their zero-emission full electric vehicle counterparts, but for the purchase price, you do reap the reward of far lower CO2 emissions.
Traffic in major cities is often a cause for greater fuel emissions with all the stopping and starting of petrol and diesel engines. However, when you sell your car for a hybrid, like the Corolla Cross for a mere R461 700 when bought new, you won’t produce any emissions at low speeds (like idling while you load up the car or slowly moving forward at a faulty robot during load shedding).
#2 Hybrids have cheaper running costs
Surprisingly, hybrid vehicles are not a new invention. They have existed since the early 1900s, but have only become accessible in recent years because of their cost.
Once you’ve sold your car and paid the higher investment price for a hybrid, you can sit back and reap the following rewards:
- fewer trips to the petrol station (particularly in urban environments)
- less wear and tear (since these cars do less damage to tyres and brake pads than their full petrol/diesel counterparts)
- extra protection in terms of warranties from manufacturers
- higher resale value.
On the negative side, if something does go wrong with your hybrid car, you’re likely to fork out more cash for repair bills. This is because independent mechanics are less familiar with these cars and you will probably need to return to the original manufacturer for services and repairs. Items such as the battery and electric motor are on a different level of the car to electrics that mechanics are used to dealing with, increasing labour costs.
#3 Hybrids recharge as you drive
One of the biggest drawbacks with fully electric vehicles in a country like South Africa is ‘range anxiety’ (because there are few public charging stations).
No-one wants to lose power on a long road trip in the middle of the Karoo or break down during peak-hour traffic in the dodgy end of town.
There have been great strides from manufacturers to improve the battery range of newer electric cars in recent years, but range anxiety continues to prevent people from purchasing these vehicles. This is not an issue with hybrid cars since they have the advantage of a fuel engine backup.
Parallel hybrids benefit from regenerative braking, meaning that they use the car’s kinetic energy to convert back to electric energy. They also use the fuel engine to charge the electric one.
Loadshedding? No problem.
Lack of access to charging stations? No issue.
Don’t have time to wait at charging stations? Not even a thought.
#4 Hybrids are more comfortable
Most hybrids operate on an automatic transmission, which means the clutch and gear lever are not a concern while you’re on the road.
In addition to this, you don’t need to get anxious about whether the car is operating on an electric or fuel engine. The car tells you what it’s doing.
Hybrid motorists can also rest in the knowledge that they are driving futuristic vehicles with high-end technology. This means less chance of a breakdown, less noise pollution and longer lasting cars with greater fuel efficiency.
Say ‘Hello’ to a hybrid future with Weelee
Now that we have presented you with the numerous advantages of hybrid cars, you may be persuaded that this is the way forward – for you and the planet.
If you are considering swapping out your old fuel-driven car to invest in a hybrid, Weelee is here to provide you with a hassle-free way to sell your car for more.
Take just minutes to ‘Weelee it’ and wait for the competitive offers to start streaming in.