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Heavy traffic congestions, manufacturing’s gigantic carbon footprint, and mobility’s not so good side effects on nature are part of the old normal that we should get rid of for good.

When we were subjected to quarantine, we saw how the horizons became clearer, the waters of Manila Bay turned aquamarine, and the world’s busiest beaches became wildlife preserves. Our heedless consumption was put on a halt. The bright side of this pandemic is that we’re giving nature a few months to breathe.

But as we continue with our lives with the overused “New Normal,” what have we learned? 

In our industry, the push for more green alternatives has become standard in European countries before COVID. In the Philippines, we were not so gung-ho since the greener alternatives are more pricey than the regular ones. But after the whole issue of excise tax, and hybrids having a tax break, more and more options have come into our shores.

For regular, non-car folks, some might not be so sold on the idea even if Leonardo de Caprio drives one, what does going Hybrid means? 

Hybrids have two powertrains or sources of energy. One is an electric motor, and the other the gasoline engine. The gasoline engine uses combustion or burning of fuel to power the car, which results in the gasses that come out of the tailpipe while electric comes from a battery. The technology behind a hybrid car is that the battery is charged by the transfer of energy from the gas engine and braking action. 

One of the Pros of having a hybrid is a better fuel economy than conventional cousins. The transfer of energy also works better for city dwellers than those who travel a long distance. The disadvantage is, of course, is the price.

Hybrid cars also have different arrangements, but the most common are the parallel Hybrid, the series hybrid, and the plug-in Hybrid.

The Parallel Hybrid is the most common design of hybrid cars. The electric motor and gasoline engine are connected in a common transmission that combines the two power sources. Both power sources can run the vehicle separately. 

In the Series hybrid, the electric motor provides the hybrid car’s power, so it basically runs with just the electric engine. The Gas engine is only its charger. You can see this technology in a BMW i3.

The Plug-in Hybrid has a larger battery pack that must be fully charged using an electricity source – from your home, office, or charging station. Plug-in Hybrid allows an extended electric driving, and it significantly reduces fuel consumption.

Launched in the country recently are the following:

  • Toyota Corolla Cross, a crossover hybrid vehicle based on the Corolla sedan;
  • Toyota Altis Hybrid, which the design is based on the 12th generation of the gasoline-powered Altis;
  • the Geely’s newest Azkarra SUV, powered by a 1.5L turbocharged gas and mild-hybrid engine;
  • Land Rover Range Rover Evoque, run by a 2.0-liter gasoline engine and mild-hybrid electric motor and 48V battery pack

So is hybrid just a fad? 

Like how fashion giants like Zara and Topshop convert the more expensive Haute Couture to high street fashion in less than a 3-week cycle, this fad will turn into a style that will stay. With consumers being more aware on how their actions and their consumption, if we can democratize better consumer options like hybrid cars or organic food, then more and more people will buy what’s best for them and the world.