Car Time – April 2021

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Electric, Hybrid or Plug-in Hybrid?

    Many people in the Lamorinda area may be considering their next vehicle to be electric and/or hybrid. There are many options available, and the technology is growing every day.
    Keep in mind that the landscape for transportation will change dramatically in the next ten years, but we are taking about right now. What to buy? The best choice depends on your needs as a driver.
    It is true that there are many advantages to the hybrid vehicles that are built today.
    Hybrid vehicles offer much better economy and a necessity for less maintenance. You also do not have to plug them in. These vehicles are best suited when your daily driving is around town or low speed commuting.
    That is when the electric motor comes in to play, saving fuel. Still, you can drive long distances without running out of charge since the system recharges itself. The batteries will eventually require replacement and the need to be recycled.
    The plug-in hybrid allows you to run on straight battery, extending the low speed and overall range. This will require the purchase of a charging system for your house. Again, batteries will eventually require replacement.
    The plug-in option also offers the choice to drive away from the grid and not worry about charging the battery. Keep in mind, hybrid vehicles still have gas engines and require the normal maintenance.
    Owning and driving a full electric vehicle requires specific driving patterns. The infrastructure for electric vehicles is expanding and will get better. You can also set up your house with solar energy and use sun power to charge your car.
    With no combustion engine, the maintenance expense is cut way back. Owning a full electric vehicle, however, should fit your lifestyle and driving patterns.
    Because you can count on the fact that there will be better systems within a few short years, it might be handy if you still had a gas burner in the household. Manufacturers will keep improving electric systems until the point where there are no drivers.
    The advice I would give on buying an electric car is this: Be cautious of start-up car companies that currently have no vehicles on the road. Remember there are other worthy luxury electric vehicles on the market than Tesla!
    Names like Audi, Cadillac, Hummer and even Mustang are releasing some exciting products. As usual, be a good consumer of automobile ownership. I am always available for automotive consultation.

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