Is a Hybrid Worth It?

The Short Answer - Yes!

Hybrid Electric Vehicles will offer a significantly reduced cost to run the vehicle and will also lower emissions compared to traditional Internal Combustion (IC) vehicles.

A Hybrid typically uses both a gasoline-powered engine and a battery-powered electric motor to drive the vehicle. On the market today, you'll find 3 main categories of Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV for short): 

  • Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicles (MHEV)
  • Full Hybrid Electric Vehicles (FHEV)
  • Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV)

Let's start off easy.

Let's get to know a few acronyms that are commonly used when referring to the different types of vehicles.
  • IC or ICE - Internal Combustion Engine (a gas or diesel powered vehicle)
  • HEV - Hybrid Electric Vehicle (the general term that covers all Hybrids)
  • PHEV - Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle
  • EV or BEV - Electric Vehicle (a vehicle that runs on just electricity from a battery)
Types of Hybrids
While there are many other types of hybrid vehicles that run on different kinds of fuels, we're focusing on the most common - gas and electric hybrid vehicles.
Mild and Full Hybrid vehicles primarily use an Internal Combustion (IC) Engine along with a battery-powered electric motor that helps improve fuel economy. They recharge the battery by using the engine and by collecting energy through regenerative braking. Typically, the battery is quite small (1-2 kWh) and electric-only driving is either not available or very short (<2km).
A Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV), such as the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, have a much larger, higher-capacity battery (7-20kWh) and the ability to plug-in the vehicle to charge. PHEVs are therefore able to drive using only electric power with the flexibility of switching to the gasoline engine only when needed.

Mild and Full Hybrid Vehicles

There are pros and cons for both types of Hybrids. If you're looking at Mild and Full Hybrid Vehicles, you should consider these advantages and disadvantages.

  • Similar to an IC vehicle but better fuel economy.
  • Typically priced lower than EV and PHEV.

  • Not "zero emission" because of its IC engine.
  • Limited or no ability to drive on electricity only.
  • Switching between gas and electric can be "jerky".
  • Only a small reduction in maintenance costs over IC.

Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles

If you're looking at Plug-In Hybrid Vehicles, you should consider these advantages and disadvantages.

  • You can drive "everyday" distances on just electric power.
  • Dual drivetrains usually improve performance.
  • Greater fuel economy when primary power is electricity.
  • You can still make long-range trips using gasoline.
  • Access to government incentives and HOV/carpool lanes.

  • Still not completely "zero emission" because of its IC engine.
  • Heavy and complex drivetrains are less fuel efficient over mild/full hybrids when not operating with electric-only.
  • Switching between gas and electric can be "jerky".
  • More expensive initial cost compared to IC.
  • Reduced interior and trunk room because of the space needed for a gas motor and batteries.
Is a Hybrid right for you?
Still need help figuring out if a hybrid is the right choice? We offer you these three characterizations to help you choose.
The Short-Sprinter
For someone who lives close to work or school and doesn't often do long driving trips, any type of Hybrid vehicle would suite them. For the best advantages, a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle or Battery Electric Vehicle would be the best choice. You'll be able to charge your vehicle at home and be ready for the next day's adventures while saving on gas.
The Road-Tripper
For someone who spends a lot of time on the road, often driving up to 500km at a time, a Full Hybrid Vehicle offers the most flexibility when it comes to your drive distance and fuel economy. You'll benefit from better fuel economy without worrying about needing to find a place to plug-in your vehicle.
The Urban Explorer
For someone living in a city and making regular commutes and long-distance trips, you may want to consider a Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle. You can take advantage of an urban network of charging stations and still be able to drive long-range on the highway. You'll have the added freedom of choosing to charge along the way or rely more on your gasoline engine.
As long as you're honest with yourself about how you use your vehicle, you will be able to determine the right option for you. A Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle like the Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV is a perfect choice for someone wanting to embrace the future of Hybrid Electric Vehicles.