Hybrid vehicles have caused a stir, and speculation abounds about how they work, how much they cost to buy, maintain and insure. Some of it is fact, but some of it is simply rumour.
All hybrid cars have to be plugged in
Rumour. While there are plug-in models available (the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Volt come to mind), the majority of hybrids available today do not need to be plugged in. Basically, the way it works is the battery is recharged while you drive, from energy normally lost over the course of operating the car.
Hybrid vehicle batteries need to be replaced frequently
Fiction. Hybrid batteries are designed to work for the lifetime of the vehicle which is why many manufacturers offer impressive warranties. Toyota for example, offers 160,000 km warranty coverage on their Prius and Highlander hybrid-related components.
The only hybrid vehicles available are the Honda Civic Hybrid and the Toyota Prius
False. There are a number of hybrids to choose from, including hybrid cars, hybrid SUVs and even hybrid pick-ups. Whatever your preference, chances are you can find a hybrid version. The most popular hybrids, as quoted online for auto insurance through Kanetix.ca, show how diverse the selection is:
- Toyota Prius
- Toyota Camry Hybrid
- Honda Civic Hybrid
- Ford Escape Hybrid
- Lexus CT200h
- Toyota Highlander Hybrid
- Hyundai Sonata Hybrid
- Honda CR-Z Hybrid
- Lexus RX 400h
- Ford Fusion Hybrid
- Honda Insight Hybrid
- Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
- Kia Optima Hybrid
- Nissan Altima 2.5 S Hybrid
- Honda Accord Hybrid
- Lexus RX 450h
- Acura ILX Hybrid
- Lexus HS 250h
- Cadillac Escalade Hybrid
- Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid
- Chevrolet Silverado 1500 Hybrid
- Saturn Aura Green Line Hybrid
- Lexus GS 450h
- Lexus LS 600h L
- Lincoln MKZ Hybrid
- Chevrolet Tahoe Hybrid
- GMC Sierra 1500 Hybrid
- Infiniti M35h
- GMC Yukon Hybrid
- Lexus ES 300h
- BMW ActiveHybrid 7
- Chrysler Aspen Hybrid
- Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid
- BMW X6 Hybrid
Hybrid vehicles cost more to buy
True. While fuel efficiency is a bonus at the pumps, it typically comes at the cost of a slightly more expensive vehicle. The good news here though is you may be eligible to receive a provincial tax rebate or credit (depending on the province) varying from $1,000 to $3,000 if you live in Quebec or Prince Edward Island.
Both Ontario and British Columbia have incentive programs that target drivers buying electric cars. Although conventional hybrids don't appear to qualify, if going with a plug-in gets you charged, then you'll want to see how much you could be eligible to receive off the price of your new plug-in.
Hybrid cars cost more to insure
Not necessarily. We compared car insurance quotes at Kanetix.ca for the Toyota Camry Hybrid, Ford Escape Hybrid, and Honda Civic Hybrid, and it looks like there is no one definitive trend. While there were times, when compared to their gas-powered alter egos, hybrid car insurance rates were lower, there were also times when they were higher and even sometimes the exact same.
What's this mean if you're in the market to buy a hybrid? Shop around for your hybrid car insurance coverage. Rates are not the same across insurance companies, and if you get a new hybrid your current insurer might not be the most affordable option for coverage.
Looking for more on hybrid car trends, fuel efficiency, and auto insurance rates?
Over the years, Kanetix® has compiled a series of articles that you might find of interest:
- Hot hybrids: The 10 most popular hybrids
- Hybrid cars in Canada: Will going green save you money?
- Autos that save you money: In gas and in your auto insurance premiums.
- Gas prices driving you to walk? You don't have to park the car yet.
- Gas prices affecting your choice of vehicle for you next purchase?