Possibly, but in most cases, no. The cost of maintaining a hybrid car is really quite similar to the expenses of maintaining a conventional car. Other than their sophisticated electric drive motor assemblies and the large battery pack, all other hybrid vehicle systems are really quite similar to traditional cars. They can cost the same—even potentially less—to maintain.
With regenerative braking, less wear and tear is imposed on the regular friction brakes resulting in much longer pad life. In addition, full hybrids have the ability to shut the engine down, allowing the electric motor to take over, resulting in less wear on all the engine components allowing for fewer maintenance needs.
The one area where maintenance costs of hybrids could easily exceed those of conventional vehicles is the electric drive battery packs. Yet with developments in battery technology (NiMH and Li-ion) and reliability, most hybrid manufacturers warrant the battery packs for 80,000 to 100,000 miles. And as more and more hybrids hit the roads, real world experience is showing that few battery failures occur and there have been instances in which the batteries have lasted 150,000 miles and longer.
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Hybrid Buying Guide
Check out the photos and test drives of current hybrid models, plus the lowdown on up-and-coming models.
Hybrid Tax Credits & Rebates
They go hand-in-hand: reduce your taxes and greenhouse gas contribution when you buy a hybrid vehicle.
Learn More at Hybrid CentralMore Frequently Asked Questions about Hybrid Vehicles