If you are in the market for a new car, you would have noticed the buzz around electric vehicles (EVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and hybrid cars.
While conventional car drivers may be reluctant to take the plunge and go fully electric, they can consider going hybrid, a happy medium that is a viable fit for Singapore’s transport infrastructure.
Here are five reasons to make the switch.
1. Cost savings
From the get-go, hybrid car buyers receive a significant rebate under the Land Transport Authority’s Carbon Emissions-Based Vehicle Scheme (CEVS), a scheme introduced in 2013 to encourage the adoption of low carbon emission vehicles.
Under the present scheme, cars in the top band with the lowest carbon emissions (less than 95 g/km of CO2) enjoy the maximum rebate of $30,000. Hybrid models that qualify for the top band include the Kia Niro, which emits 88 g/km of CO2.
Apart from the CEVS rebate, you will also continue to save money thanks to a hybrid car’s efficient use of energy. Because it runs on a seamless combination of petrol and electric power, a hybrid car goes farther for every litre of petrol.
Aerodynamic design also helps. Curved body lines, sleek elements and well-designed tyres do not just look great, they also reduce drag. Look for a drag coefficient of below 0.3 for good fuel efficiency.
With a parallel hybrid system and drag coefficient of 0.29, the Kia Niro’s fuel consumption stands at an impressive 26.3km/l, which works out to an average of $78 per 1,000km in a month.
2. Cutting-edge technology
Car manufacturers lavish attention on implementing the latest tech in their hybrid and electric models.
Trends include intelligently designed, feature-packed dashboards for easy monitoring of fuel and battery levels. Also look out for user-centric functions like smart air conditioning and wireless mobile device charging pads.
Beyond the latest tech trends, safety features are always crucial. Every car maker has its proprietary safety technologies, but the key ones to look out for are blind spot sensors, parking sensors and Hill-start Assist Control.
The safety and reliability of lithium-ion batteries - which partly power hybrid cars - are understandably a major concern for most Singaporeans.
Reputable hybrid car makers, however, take the utmost care to minimise all safety risks associated with batteries.
From the quality of the battery itself to its cooling speed and position in the vehicle, no detail is overlooked as any complication would be a major gaffe for the manufacturer.
If you are concerned about the battery failing after some use, opt for a battery warranty. Cycle & Carriage Kia offers a 10-year battery warranty on top of its current 10-year engine warranty and 5-year unlimited mileage warranty.
4. Best in class design
With hybrid and electric vehicles in the global limelight, the motoring industry has devoted significant resources and R&D on this type of cars. Hybrid cars now set the bar high when it comes to contemporary automotive design.
As a SUV-sedan crossover, the Kia Niro is compact and sleek, but it is not your typical dainty hybrid car.
It has a markedly athletic profile, with sculpted lines, muscular form and a commanding presence. Design enthusiasts will recognise Kia design lead Peter Schreyer’s signature touches, like its distinctive feline face.
On the inside, the Kia Niro is equipped with innovative features like ventilated front seats that make it a pleasurable ride.
The range of hybrids has expanded beyond compact cars, and they now come in all sizes and styles to suit different lifestyles.
If it’s space you are after to accommodate your family’s needs, a classic SUV interior that is roomy and tall, with high ground-clearance and ample cargo space will be perfect.
Look for interior versatility such as flexible seating arrangement to give you complete choice and control. The Kia Niro features rear seats which split 60:40 and fold flat, allow you to reconfigure your interior layout anyway you require.
Whether you’re bringing the children along for a big shopping trip or going for a fun adventure outdoors, this hybrid car has room to offer.