Even as alternative fuel cars become more commonplace, misconceptions abound about their drawbacks and utility. We clear up five of the most common myths.
Myth: Hybrids need to have expensive batteries that must be replaced periodically.
Fact: Consumer Reports and others have tested older Toyota Prius hybrids, some with well over 200,000 miles on the odometer, and found very little degradation in the batteries. Regardless, California requires a 10-year/150,000-mile warranty on hybrid batteries.
Myth: A hybrid always saves you money.
Fact: That really depends what how many you miles drive annually. Factoring tax and registration fees, a
Myth: Electric cars have too short a range for my daily driving needs.
Fact: Most electric cars get 75 to 85 miles per charge. Working age adults in the U.S. drive an average 14,120 miles annually, or less than 37 miles a day. Even if you figure all those miles are just for commuting, with only weekends off, the average is still only 54 miles, well within an EVs range.
Myth: Generating electricity to power cars causes just as much pollution as gasoline.
Fact: A battery electric car, powered by the California grid, creates about 40% of the carbon emissions of a gasoline vehicle that gets 25 miles per gallon, according to a UC Irvine transportation study. That includes carbon emissions from the manufacture of the vehicles.
Myth: Hydrogen refining causes too much pollution to make fuel cell cars worthwhile.