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3 Crucial Reasons to Avoid Hybrid Trucks

Rising fuel costs are causing many to consider hybrid trucks while shopping for their next vehicle. These clean energy trucks are gaining popularity as many vehicle owners strive to minimize their impact on the environment.

However, you should consider a few things before signing on the dotted line for one of these shiny and expensive trucks. 

Today, we’re making our case against hybrid trucks and why they might not be worth it. Let’s get started.

What Is a Hybrid Truck?

A hybrid truck, much like any hybrid vehicle, uses an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. The internal combustion engine runs off gasoline, while the electric motor runs off energy stored in the vehicle’s battery bank. The vehicle can smoothly switch between gas and electric modes as needed.

Don’t confuse hybrid trucks with fully electric vehicles.

A hybrid vehicle does not require you to plug in to charge the battery. The battery bank typically charges through regenerative braking and the vehicle’s internal combustion engine. Several manufacturers are embracing this technology and including it in their vehicles.

Who Makes a Hybrid Truck?

You can find hybrid trucks from most of the major truck manufacturers. Ford, Toyota, Ram, and Chevrolet are some names you’ll likely recognize and are making hybrid trucks. As demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles continues to rise, the coming years will likely be an intense battle between manufacturers.

This will be another key area where they will fight for the top spot.

White RAM truck parked under palm trees.
Don’t stress about having to charge your battery with a hybrid truck.

What Are the Disadvantages of Hybrid Trucks?

Manufacturers spend millions to highlight the benefits of why you should choose their vehicles. It’s easy to get caught up in flashy marketing that you don’t consider the negative side of things. Let’s take a look at a few things you should consider.

1. Costs

Hybrid vehicles are expensive, so it shouldn’t surprise consumers that hybrid trucks come with a steeper price tag. However, the price tag isn’t the only more expensive thing. Hybrid vehicles typically cost more to maintain, and some insurance companies charge more to insure them. 

Higher insurance costs are largely because those choosing a hybrid vehicle typically do so because they’re traveling many miles. So while you may be saving money on fuel, these added costs will quickly chip away at that fuel savings.

2. Towing Capacity

Can you tow with a hybrid truck? Absolutely. However, only a handful of hybrid trucks can pull over 10,000 pounds. You’ll want to be mindful of the weight of anything you’re hitching up to tow with your truck. Exceeding the towing capacity on hybrid trucks isn’t all that difficult.

Pro Tip: Know before you tow! Make sure not to make any of these 7 Common Towing Capacity Mistakes.

3. Maintenance

There’s not much difference between routine maintenance costs of a hybrid and a gas vehicle. However, there is one important maintenance difference.

The heart of a hybrid system is its battery pack. Manufacturers must warranty these battery packs for eight years or 100,000 miles. If your hybrid’s battery pack fails after your warranty expires, it can cost you thousands.

Woman driving red hybrid truck
Cruise down the open road in a hybrid truck.

What Are the Benefits of Hybrid Trucks?

There are some great things to consider when it comes to hybrid trucks. As technologies improve, we expect they will only get better.

Fuel Efficiency

Hybrid trucks get to enjoy the benefits of the electric motor. Being able to switch back and forth when necessary gives these trucks an increase in fuel efficiency. The 2022 Ford Maverick can achieve an astonishing 42 mpg in the city, outperforming the 2022 Honda Civic gasoline engine.

With this type of fuel efficiency, it’s easy to see why many drivers are considering hybrid trucks. That’s especially with gas prices these days.

Purchase Incentives

Some tax credits and purchase incentives can help make it easier to purchase a hybrid truck. Incentives can save thousands of dollars simply by choosing a hybrid vehicle.

However, you must ask about any current purchase incentives based on your location and the specific vehicle. These incentives can change or expire or may only be available for a certain amount of vehicles.

Red RAM truck parked on grass.
Save at the pump with a hybrid truck.

How Long Do Hybrid Batteries Last?

Many hybrid owners get between 100,000 miles to 200,000 miles on their vehicle’s battery pack.

However, car manufacturers in the U.S. must warranty their battery packs for a minimum of eight years or 100,000 miles, whichever comes first. As car manufacturers develop technologies, some extend warranties to 10 years or 150,000 miles.

Is Hybrid Worth It for Highway Driving?

By design, hybrids shine the most during city driving. They perform the best when kept under 50 mph, typically too slow for most highway driving situations. If you do most of your driving on highways, you’ll still get relatively decent mileage. However, it won’t be nearly as efficient as when driving in city conditions. 

Depending on the price difference between the gas and hybrid models, your fuel savings can take a significant amount of time to offset the increased costs. Before you spend a chunk of money on a hybrid, make sure it’s worth it for your specific driving situation.

Pro Tip: Would you rather drive an SUV instead of a truck? Check out these 5 Best Hybrid SUVs for Camping Trips.

Are Hybrids More Expensive to Maintain?

When it comes to routine maintenance, it’s typically the same as a standard gas vehicle. The regenerative braking system massively extends the life of your brakes and leads to fewer issues with them.

However, if your vehicle is outside of its warranty and your hybrid’s battery pack dies, it can lead to a hefty bill. These repairs can cost several thousand dollars but are infrequent and pretty rare.

Is a Hybrid Truck Worth It?

Depending on what you’re going to need in a truck, a hybrid truck might be a great choice. You’re not likely going to be towing a massive fifth wheel with one.

But, they can accomplish a majority of the tasks most people require out of a truck. You’ll enjoy the benefits of saving at the pump. You can also drive knowing you’re minimizing your impact on the environment.

Are you considering a hybrid truck for your next purchase? Tell us in the comments!

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  1. MattR says:

    Just wow! What a slanted headline.

    Ask the people in Texas who powered their homes during the freeze about avoiding hybrid trucks. The F-150 with 7.5 kW of on board electric generation can save the cost of a job site generator. No, they aren’t for everyone, but for most the cost of ownership is better over the life of the vehicle.

    There are always battery pack replacement scares in articles like this, but packs are lasting longer than feared.