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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    Hybrids and cold weather

    Hi. It's getting about that time for me to buy a new car, my first car that will be all my own, and I'm thinking of a hybrid suv. However, I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota and as everyone knows, it gets COLD up here in the winter. We're talking -20's, sometimes windchills in the -40's. I live in an apartment with no garage so I'm parked in a lot. Even if I had a garage, I drive to an open air lot (less than 2 miles away) and get on the bus to go to work every day. My car is there, out in the cold, for sometimes 10-12 hours a day.

    I've heard rumblings that the batteries on hybrids don't do well in cold weather. Is this true? Am I better off buying a conventional, gas engine vehicle until I at least have a heated garage or move to a warmer state?

    Thanks for any help and advice!

  2. #2

    You should check the various

    You should check the various car model parts of this forum for specifics about each model. My impression is that the Prius may have some problems in slipery snow but the rest of the hybrids do just fine in cold temperatures and in snow. Of course, your mpg won't be as great when its cold but it will still be a lot better than a non-hybrid in the same circumstances. The batteries may not give you quite as much boost when cold than in warm weather but the cars will still work ok. Engine block heaters may be helpful with hybrids when it is really cold, just like with any non-hybrid. The Ford Escape Hybrid 4WD has been noted to be quite good in snow.

  3. #3
    Guest

    I live in Minneapolis as

    I live in Minneapolis as well, and I've been consistently disappointed in my Highlander hybrid's mileage drop in cold weather. It's hard to separate the differential between the inevitable engine performance drop or the batteries. Comparing my mileage with friends with non-hybrid models suggests batteries are a large component of that.
    Either way, much as I love the concept of hybrid cars, I doubt my next one will a hybrid. For cold weather drivers, the economics just don't add up.

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