Despite the recent plunge in gasoline prices, hybrid and electric cars remain a popular vehicle option, especially for daily commuters. However, both hybrid and electric cars cost on average $5,000 more than their gasoline-only vehicle counterparts. The additional cost derives from the money required to cover the cost of constructing and installing the electric motor and battery. Because of the electric motor and battery, hybrid vehicles also tend to weigh more than vehicles that run exclusively on gasoline. Advanced technology and the growing number of skilled service professionals have combined to reduce the difference in cost between servicing gasoline-powered vehicles and vehicles that run on the combination of gas and electricity, or only electricity.
Consumers that want to purchase a cheap hybrid and electric vehicle have a wide range of vehicles to consider. For clarity, the definition of cheap comes from Kelley Blue Book, which considers cheap hybrid and electric cars to cost less than $30,000.
Benefits of Owning a Hybrid or Electric Car
With the cost of designing and manufacturing hybrid and electric vehicles on the decline, consumers should place more emphasis on the benefits of turning to vehicles that do not solely operate on gasoline combustion engines.
Dual and electric-only engines generate better fuel economy numbers than the fuel economy numbers generated by gasoline engines. This is especially true for drivers that make frequent stops, such as those made during work commutes. Hybrid and electric cars operate a low speeds on electric power only, which conserves the gasoline stored in hybrid engine configurations. In addition, hybrid and electric car manufacturers use lighter materials to construct vehicle frames to enhance fuel economy.
Going green is the mantra of electric and hybrid car owners. Both eco-friendly vehicles emit less CO2 than the CO2 released through the exhaust systems of gasoline-powered vehicles. Studies demonstrate that hybrids release up to 35 percent less CO2, while electric cars release none at all. Once again, this is due to the shutting down of the gasoline engine in hybrid cars during travel at lower speeds.
Government Financial Incentives
The United States government offers financial incentives for consumers who buy hybrid and electric cars. Some of the financial incentives include lower tax bills, vehicle rebates, and exemptions from CO2 emission charges. The goal is to reward consumers that help reduce pollution and conserve the world’s rapidly dwindling oil reserves.
The Difference between Hybrid and Electric Cars
The hybrid and electric car engine set-ups are just one of the differences between the eco-friendly vehicles. Electric cars completely depend on electricity to perform, while hybrid cars combine gasoline and electricity to provide vehicle power. Hybrids operate on internal combustion engines and supplementary electrical power from a battery of electric cells. The beauty of hybrids lies in the unique operation of the dual fuel system, which shuts down the gasoline part of the power equation at speeds below 30 miles per hour. Hybrids also provide a second fuel option, whenever the battery eventually runs low. Electric cars require recharging from a stationary source. The electric component of the hybrid power car receives recharging during the operation of the vehicle.
Rating the 10 best Cheap Hybrid and Electric Cars
With the cut off for cheap at $30,000, the next set of criteria for rating the 10 best cheap hybrid and electric cars mostly concerns vehicle performance. The power and acceleration of hybrids and electric cars, while not comparable to most gas-only cars, should still deliver performance that rivals the performance of compact gas-only powered vehicles. Moreover, the best hybrid and electric cars should possess superior interior and safety features. Remember that buying a used electric or hybrid car further decreases the cost of servicing a vehicle that delivers outstanding fuel economy.
Here are the 10 best hybrid and electric cars:
Ford Fusion Hybrid
With a combined fuel economy rating of 44 miles per gallon, the Ford Fusion sits near the top of the cheap hybrid vehicle category. The 2015 version of the Ford Fusion costs on average, $25,867. Ford combines the front wheel drive and continuously variable timing automatic transmission to give the hybrid more pop whenever drivers need to accelerate quickly to pass other motorists or climb steep inclines. The 188 horsepower produced by the Ford Fusion ensures owners do not sacrifice power for fuel efficiency. Unlike many other hybrid vehicles of all price ranges, the Ford Fusion comfortably seats five adults inside of a vehicle that provides more cargo space than the cargo space provided by many types of gasoline-only compact vehicles. The Ford Fusion hybrid can accelerate from idle to 60 miles per hour in less than eight seconds.