While most vehicles on the road are still powered exclusively by gasoline, electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming increasingly common. You can even find luxury vehicles that operate on electric or hybrid power, making energy efficiency truly fashionable. If you are considering a luxury electric or hybrid vehicle, there are some important things to keep in mind as you weigh your options and make your decision.
What is a Hybrid Vehicle?
A hybrid car uses two or more engines – most commonly an electric motor and a conventional gasoline engine. Unlike an electric car, a hybrid is not plugged in to charge the battery. Instead, the battery is charged by the car’s internal combustion engine and by regenerative braking systems within the vehicle. The electric engine powers the car at lower speeds, while the gas engine will automatically kick in to power it at higher speeds. This allows the vehicle to operate at almost the same power level as one that is powered exclusively by gas, but still reduce emissions and conserve fuel. While hybrid vehicles operate more efficiently than their conventional counterparts, it’s important to find a mechanic that specializes in this type of vehicle; repairs can get more expensive than with gas powered cars, and not all mechanics have the necessary experience to get the work done.
What is an Electric Vehicle?
Electric cars use a rechargeable battery-powered engine in place of a traditional gas engine. Many prospective vehicle owners are persuaded to make the switch because electric cars are better for the environment. Because a fully electric vehicle doesn’t use an exhaust system, it has no emissions, thereby contributing to a world with cleaner air and fewer greenhouse gasses. Electric vehicles can also be powered naturally with renewable resources such as water, solar, and wind power. Gasoline, on the other hand, is a natural resource, but not renewable, making an electric vehicle a more sustainable alternative for the long run. Additionally, electric vehicles are cheaper to own and operate. They typically cost one-third the cost of gas-powered vehicles to run, and won’t require oil changes or other upkeep associated with a gas-powered engine. Electric vehicles also tend to be easier on parts, requiring less upkeep and maintenance throughout their lifespan.
What to Consider Before Purchasing a Luxury Electric or Hybrid Vehicle
Insurance: If you’re considering an electric or hybrid vehicle, double check what your expected insurance rate will be. Vehicles that are considered “luxury” typically cost more to insure.
Power Level: While hybrid and electric vehicles can operate at similar speeds and power levels to traditional gasoline vehicles, you will still see the most power from a gas-powered engine. If this is important to you, keep it in mind.
Price: The biggest drawback of a hybrid or electric car is the price tag. They tend to cost more upfront than other vehicles; however, the savings from tax breaks, upkeep, and fuel tend to offset that cost in the long run. Additionally, with the growing popularity of these types of vehicles, it remains to be seen whether the prices will eventually drop to become more affordable.
Tax Incentives: There are government-sponsored incentives and tax breaks available for both hybrid and electric vehicles. Lower annual tax bills and exemption from certain taxes will save you money
Reduce Dependence on Fossil Fuels: While they are still used to power the majority of vehicles on the road today, gasoline and oil are nonrenewable resources. Developing vehicles that don’t need to rely on fossil fuels is an important step forward for the energy sector.
Current Scarcity of Electric Charging Stations: Because electric vehicles are still growing in popularity, not all areas have easily accessible electric charging stations. If you want an electric vehicle but live in an area that doesn’t have charging stations yet, you’ll have to be confident that charging at home will be sufficient for your needs.
Higher Resale Value: Because green vehicles are more in demand and easier on their parts, you will generally get a higher than average resale value if you do decide to sell your vehicle.
Big Steps Forward
Anyone skeptical about the future of electric or hybrid vehicles should look at upcoming releases. Most of the biggest vehicle manufacturers have some sort of electric or hybrid model on the market; in fact, Ford has recently revealed its upcoming F-150 Lightning, an all-electric version of its most popular pickup truck. Due in 2022, the F-150 Lightning is powerful, aggressively priced, and is expected to be able to drive between 230 (on a standard range battery) and 300 miles (for the extended range battery) on a single charge. With the purchase of an F-150 Lightning with the extended range battery, Ford is including a new 80-amp home charging station that, in addition to fully charging the vehicle in just eight hours, can power an entire home for up to three days in the event of an electrical outage. With Ford, along with other vehicle manufacturers, exploring the possibilities of all-electric and hybrid versions of their most popular vehicles, there is no doubt that sustainable driving is the way of the future.
Making Your Decision
If you’re considering buying a luxury electric or hybrid vehicle, you’ll need more than a desire to be cutting-edge or environmentally friendly. You’ll need to look at the resources available in your area that can help you maintain and sustain your vehicle. You’ll likely need mechanics that are familiar with alternative fuel sources, as well as accessible charging stations and attainable part replacements. You should also research any tax breaks or incentives you might qualify for. If you do decide to take the plunge, you’ll love the cost savings and energy efficiency on top of the luxurious look and feel of your new vehicle!