Hybrid Cars Technology and MPG Fuel Economy

The reasons that people buy a hybrid varies. Some like the idea of protecting the environment by putting less carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Others feel they can save a considerable amount of money, in the long run, by getting better fuel mileage. Depending on individual driving habits, owning a hybrid vehicle may not help the environment or save on fuel consumption as much as some people believe.

Hybrid Vehicle Technology

Hybrid vehicles run on an electric motor as well as a gasoline powered internal combustion engine. The electric motor gets its electricity from a powerful multi-celled battery. This powerful battery is charged by excess energy from the gasoline engine, electric motor or vehicles brakes. The excess energy from the vehicles brakes is called regenerative braking. However, it is not easy to find specialist rose bay auto electrician for having thorough check of brakes.

Generally at lower speeds, the car runs on electricity supplied by the powerful battery. At higher speeds, the gasoline engine powers the vehicle. When the electric motor is powering the vehicle at lower speeds, the gasoline engine may take over when accelerating. The onboard computer decides when the electric motor or gasoline engine should power the vehicle.


Hybrid Miles Per Gallon Fuel Savings

Since the internal combustion gasoline engine normally powers the car at higher speeds, the fuel savings for hybrid vehicle owners that drive a lot of highway miles may not be that beneficial. The real savings in MPG fuel consumption comes for those owners that do a lot of city, stop and go type driving.

To illustrate the difference, let’s look at some hybrid cars and their non-hybrid equivalents. The MPG listed is an EPA estimate and mileage will vary. The starting suggested retail price is for base model vehicles in all categories. The Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Toyota Camry Hybrid illustrated are considered mid-size sedans.


  • Ford Fusion MPG 41 city 36 highway – starting suggested retail price $27,625
  • Toyota Camry MPG 33 city 34 highway – starting suggested retail price $26,150


  • Ford Fusion MPG 17 city 34 highway – starting suggested retail price $19,620
  • Toyota Camry MPG 22 city 33 highway – starting suggested retail price $19,395

As evident by the listed MPG, there is not much difference in the highway mileage of the hybrid and non-hybrid equivalent model. The Ford Fusion gets 2 miles per gallon and the Toyota gets only 1 mile per gallon better fuel economy. There is however a significant difference in the city fuel economy. In fact the Ford Fusion actually gets better fuel economy in the city then it does on the highway.

Hybrid Cars and Environmental Affects

The main environmental advantage for hybrid vehicles is the reduced amount of carbon into the atmosphere while the car is in electric mode. If the car is consistently driven at highway speeds, the advantage to the environment is minuscule. If a hybrid vehicle is driven consistently at lower speeds, the environmental effects are much more positive.

If a car owner drives a lot of highway miles, a hybrid purchase would not be a good investment. The Ford Fusion Hybrid for example would have a fuel savings of about 163 gallons in 100,000 miles, assuming all miles driven where highway. At $2.50 for a gallon of gasoline, that’s a savings of $407.50.

On the other extreme, if the Ford Fusion Hybrid were driven 100,000 miles in city traffic, the fuels savings would be about 3,443 gallons. At $2.50 a gallon, the fuel savings would equal $8,607.50. Before purchasing a hybrid, the new car purchaser should calculate the percentage of city driving versus highway driving that they would expect to drive in the future. Do the math and see if spending $6,000 plus for a hybrid is worth the investment.