Should I buy a hybrid car?

Electric vehicles are quickly gaining popularity around the world. In South Africa, the adoption is slower, but interest is growing. In the meantime, hybrid cars are leading the way.

Hybrid cars pair an electric motor and a battery with a petrol or diesel engine, and they work together to boost efficiency. Most good hybrids include a choice of power modes ranging from eco to power. Unlike pure electric vehicles (EVs), you won’t have to worry about running out battery because the combustion engine is always there when you need it.

With the high price of EVs, a hybrid vehicle might be a steppingstone towards all-electric, offering two clear benefits: enhanced fuel efficiency and lower emissions. While Eskom sorts out ongoing electricity issues and the country builds infrastructure for EVs, hybrid cars are a good transitional option.

   Pros and cons of hybrid cars

There are good environmental and financial advantages to switch to hybrids, but they are not the best solution for all drivers.

Below are some pros and cons which you should consider before buying a hybrid car:


  • Environmentally friendly due to lower sulfur and nitrogen oxides emission
  • Savings on fuel costs
  • Quieter than conventional gasoline-powered cars
  • Less regular wear and tear on the car’s engine, thus requires less maintenance
  • No ‘range anxiety’ as in the case of fully electric cars, because your engine powers the hybrid batter


  • Higher upfront costs
  • Batteries are very expensive and require replacement after around 10 years
  • Not economical on highway driving because hybrids use more gasoline power on faster speeds
  • Repair costs for hybrid engines are high when maintenance is required

   Are hybrid cars reliable?

Many people believe that an IC engine combined with electric motor will bring about more issues. This is not the case because both the engine and electric motor work synergistically which results in less wear and tear.

However, some older hybrid models had experimental features which failed, and their batteries deteriorated quickly, such as the Honda Accord Hybrid in 2005, and SUV Hybrids by GM in 2008. Since those early days, hybrid technology has improved significantly. So, if you’re going to choose a hybrid model, it’s advisable to choose a newer model with the latest technology to avoid reliability issues.

If you’re looking for a new car, head over the MotorHappy online marketplace, home to thousands of previously loved cars. Search by body type, location, price, and brand. Click here to start searching for used cars. If you find a car you love, you could also sell it through the MotorHappy website.

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