The world used to laugh at the idea of hybrid cars. Even though the world knew global warming was affecting the Earth badly and oil depression is something inevitable, all of the cars on the road still ran on gasoline. This, however, changed when Toyota, Japan’s biggest car manufacturing company, released the Toyota Prius, the world’s first mass produced hybrid car. (Toyota) Nowadays, electric cars are getting more attention, but I believe the hybrid cars should be more mainstream.
The first generation Prius, the XW10 edition may have been eco-friendly, but was slow and miserable to drive. The car only produced 97 bhp even with the help of the electric motor and because the battery drains itself quickly, the range wasn’t good either.(“Proper Care”) Considering the biggest problem with batteries, which is the slow charging speed, many people said Toyota had built a hybrid which wasn’t exactly a hybrid because it ran on engine power most of the time. “The hybrid cars are basically petrol cars with better mileage,” claims Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla. Due to it’s monumental lack in performance and its uninspiring looks, the Prius became the center of mockery between car owners.
Up until now, I have been going against my own claim of hybrid cars needing to be more mainstream. But there is a good reason for that. You know, even though many people will say things like “Electric cars will be the future for us,” or “We will run out of petrol soon. We should ban all petrol cars,” to be honest, that isn’t really realistic. Yes, some countries like Germany and Norway are pushing to ban gas powered cars by the year 2030, but as of right now, electric technology is still crude and unreliable. (Khan) Yes, there are claims such as electric cars being the only car that can survive, but we should still acknowledge the fact that petrol powered cars are more efficient and more powerful than an electric car. Hybrids however, have the two powers combined, so they are faster and more powerful right? They are also more efficient because the petrol engine could work less to move the car forward, and it doesn’t take 20 years to start moving again after using a full charge.
Luckily, in the recent years, the opinion of many people towards hybrid cars changed. As big manufacturing companies like Toyota, Ford, GM, BMW, or Mercedes Benz start to change normal petrol powered versions of some of their models into a hybrid, the masses has started seeing the potential in hybrid cars. Some of the greatest examples are the Ford Fusion Hybrid,(2017) the BMW I8,(BMW) Mercedes Benz S550e Plug-in hybrid,(S550e) and more. Not only are hybrids used for everyday cars, but it is also used in sports cars. The Ferrari Laferrari,(Ferrari) Porsche 918,(Driver) and the McLaren P1 (Form) are hybrid sports cars. I’d say these 3 cars were the first starting point for hybrids being applied to sports cars. This year was also the year of the hybrids in racing. The 3 podium finishers all drove hybrid cars. Porsche’s LMP1 24-Hour LeMan started in pole position and also won because of the electric motor helping the car accelerate out of slow corners, Toyota’s TS050 Hybrid was more reliable than its gasoline counterpart, and Audi’s R18 Hybrid got 3rd place because the electric motor gave the car extra boost in a high speed battle. (Kautonen & Complete)
All I am saying is, if you look at hybrid cars, there are many great cars out there. It is more economical and more powerful than a petrol powered car and more efficient than an electric car. And there is a whole variety of hybrid cars. From serious racing cars to supercars to everyday sedans and even trucks and SUVs. The hybrid community is growing and starting to gain respect, but for now, when there is still petrol left, the hybrid cars should become mainstream. Until electricity powered cars become more efficient, hybrids should take the spotlight more than any other car.