Hybrid car owners say benefits outweigh drawbacks

Hybrids - cars that use both fuel and other forms of energy for power - were recently introduced to the UAE market, through models such as the Toyota Prius.

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ABU DHABI // Owners of hybrid vehicles say that the benefits of owning superior fuel-efficient models far outweigh their limitations.

Vehicles that use both carbon fuel and other forms of energy – such as the Toyota Prius – were recently introduced to the UAE market.

Local trader Saif Al Mannaei, who bought a Prius when he was in Japan, is a big fan of hybrid vehicles. “There was no difference for me. If anything, it helped me to save a lot of money because the hybrid mechanisms of the car allow for really high fuel efficiency,” said Mr Al Mannaei, 30.

Hybrid vehicles are typically twice as energy-efficient as conventional cars. Fitted with fuel-efficiency indicators, the Prius promotes a safer and more conservative style of driving, according to Mr Al Mannaei.

“You have a whole different mentality when it comes to driving cars,” he said. “You’re not buying a hybrid to drive fast, you’re buying one to help the environment by driving more efficiently, which coincidentally is actually a safer way to drive.”

For L M, an owner of a hybrid vehicle, driving a hybrid car is definitely easier on his wallet.

“With changing oil prices in the UAE, yes you definitely save money. You can tell every time you get in the car and that’s a good feeling,” he said.

As for the downsides of his hybrid car, he could only think of one. “Let’s be honest though, I don’t think people think it’s the coolest car,” said the American. “It doesn’t matter though, I think it’s the coolest car.”