Hybrid cars 

Hybrid electric cars are designed to run on gas and electricity and to be as fuel-efficient as possible. Their lightweight design and good aerodynamics reduce fuel demands. Their small gas engine recharges the battery as you drive, allowing you to drive in electric-mode at lower speeds. They also use regenerative braking to recharge the battery. Their engines also save a lot of fuel by switching off when stopped in traffic.

Hybrid electric cars do not have special battery-packs like pure electric cars have and cannot store enough electrical energy to drive long journeys on electricity alone. And you cannot plug them in to recharge. They are recharged by the engine.

However, they are very fuel-efficient. Some can do up to 60 miles per gallon, which is certainly better than the 32mpg your regular car might give you.

However, not everything that calls itself a hybrid is a hybrid and some makes of 'hybrid electric car' will not allow you drive on electric power alone. Check carefully before buying! Some so-called hybrids only use the electrical option for a bit of extra torque during acceleration, or to power accessories. But they are still primarily gas cars.

The electric facility in these imposter-hybrids is really very minor and serves to give you more miles per gallon, but not to replace gas. The electrical motor does not actually propell theengine as it does with a proper hybrid electric car.

These 'hybrids' are a bit more fuel-efficient than a regular car, but it seems to me that some manufacturers are simply cashing in on the Green Dollar with these models. Essentially, they are selling polluting cars, wrapped in green clothing, to make buyers feel good and exploit their environmental concerns! Because the electric mode is virtually redundant in these 'hybrids', they are almost as fake as those hybrid imports that had their electric switches disabled a few years ago.

Even the best of hybrid cars have all the disadvantages of a gas engine --grease, fumes, pollution, noise, vibration. And you are still hostage to gas prices.

But, at the risk of being disloyal to my beloved electric cars, I think a genuine hybrid could be a good choice for some people, if it saves them from having to buy a second car just for the long journeys.....

and I think a genuine hybrid could be a really great choice if they upgraded it to a full plug-in hybrid.....

If you are interested, hybrids can be upgraded to become full plug-in hybrids, by a conversion shop :) Then you could have the benefits of fuel efficiency when you are using gas on long journeys. And for short, zip-around journeys, you need never use the gas engine at all, because you wouldn't need it to recharge the battery. Instead, drive on cheap electricity from your household supply!

These plug-in hybrids have a nice poetic justice about them---now it is the gas engine that is amost disabled, because you almost never need to use it----they drive almost entirely on electric power and the gas facility is merely supplementary to be used only in exceptional circumstances.