Let’s face it; most people are concerned with how the cars they drive affect the environment. These days when you buy a vehicle, one of the details we look at as buyers are CO2 emissions. They are quite important as they help us to determine how efficient the engines in our cars are.
We are also interested in CO2 emissions for financial reasons. To help reduce the number of gas guzzlers on our roads, some countries tax cars according to their carbon emissions. People that get cars for work reasons also need to choose models with the greenest of engines.
Did you know that one of the greenest types of vehicles are hybrids? In a nutshell, hybrid cars are ones that contain a small petrol or diesel engine. They also have an electric motor that works with the combustion engine. Because the electric motor does some of the work, it means that the car produces less pollution.
When it comes to buying hybrids, the most popular option happens to be the Toyota Prius. It’s a model that first got built back in 1997 and is now in its third generation. Are you thinking of buying a hybrid? If so, this handy buyer’s guide to the Toyota Prius will give you an insight into hybrid ownership.
Unusual (but useful) transmission
The Toyota Prius hatchback only has one gearbox choice – an automatic! What’s curious about this particular vehicle is that there’s only one forward gear. In fact, if you look at the specs for any hybrid car, they will all feature a similar transmission! It’s a trait you’ll also find in electric vehicles too.
It can take some getting used to, even if you’re used to driving cars with automatic transmissions. Still, it makes driving the car even easier as there are no gears or clutch pedals to worry about.
Low carbon emissions
Perhaps the main reason you would buy a hybrid car like the Toyota Prius hatchback is for the low carbon emissions. According to Steve at Inchcape Toyota, the plug-in version is rated at a super-low 49 g/km! Of course, if you travel using the electric motor alone, that goes down to zero g/km!
Powered by the electric motor alone, you can travel a distance of up to 15 miles while doing 51 mph. There are two versions of the Toyota Prius that you can buy. First, there’s the non-plug-in version. With that, the small petrol engine charges the battery for the electric motor.
The other version does the same but also lets you charge it at home using a power cable, hence the “plug-in” moniker.
Hybrids versus small turbocharged engines
The only downside to the plug-in Prius is that it costs a few grand more to buy. Still, on the plus side, it means you don’t have to use the engine as much to charge the battery!
Some hatchbacks, like the Fiat 500, offer low emissions by using small turbo engines. But it’s hybrids like the Toyota Prius that can provide ultra-low CO2 emissions. And, let’s face it; the Prius is a more comfortable car than the Fiat 500! So, when will you make the move to hybrid ownership?