How reliable are the hybrid cars

Hybrid drive: twice as good with two motors

Hybrid cars have two engines under the hood: usually a gasoline and an electric motor. In some models, the electric motor alone drives the car at low speeds. If the car is accelerated, the electrode supports the combustion engine. This means that if the internal combustion engine were to allow itself a particularly large amount of fuel, the electric motor would help it and thus reduce fuel consumption

The manufacturers give long warranty periods on the technology, so that no additional repair costs are to be feared. According to TÜV, hybrid vehicles are very reliable. While hybrid cars used to be significantly more expensive to buy than comparable vehicles with a simple combustion engine, the price differences are now much smaller. Toyota, for example, sells the new Auris in the hybrid version even cheaper than the diesel version. This, as well as the consumption advantages and the high reliability, mean that hybrid vehicles now have the largest share of new registrations for alternative drives. There are currently around 90,000 hybrid cars in use in Germany; in 2012 alone there was a 70 percent increase in registrations compared to the previous year.

While Toyota, together with the Lexus brand, which belongs to the group, now offers a hybrid model in almost every segment, German manufacturers have so far only relied on hybrid technology for heavy, high-powered premium sedans. Although these consume less than pure gasoline engines, they are often even higher than the consumption of the respective diesel models. This calls into question the advantages of hybrid vehicles in this segment.

So-called plug-in hybrids and electric vehicles with range extenders are an extension of the hybrid drive. The former combine the tried and tested hybrid drive with a larger battery and the option of covering longer distances purely electrically. Vehicles with a range extender are always electric, but a small combustion engine charges the battery while on the move. Read more about plug-in and range extender under Electric.


Hybrid cars usually run on conventional gasoline, but Peugeot and Citroen use a combination with a diesel engine for their hybrid models. Mercedes also offers its E-Class as a diesel hybrid. The electricity for the electric motor is generated on board according to a kind of dynamo principle: a battery stores the braking and flywheel energy when the car is rolling. You don't need a socket for charging. That is the great advantage of a hybrid over vehicles with a purely electric drive.


In city traffic, on short journeys and in hilly regions, i.e. wherever braking and oscillation energy can drive the electric motor, a hybrid car uses up to 50 percent less fuel than a pure gasoline-powered car and can best exploit its fuel consumption advantages there. On the other hand, hybrid vehicles offer lower fuel consumption benefits on the highways, also because they are heavier. The decisive factor is the relationship between the vehicle weight and the strength of the electric motor. But be careful: large hybrid sedans still consume more than economical small cars with conventional drives. The technology should not serve as a pretext for driving around in an off-road vehicle that only consumes a little less fuel than usual thanks to its hybrid engine.

In electric mode, hybrid cars are almost free of pollutants and run noiselessly: only a low whirring noise and the rolling noise of the tires can be heard.