Executive summary: They suck. Here’s why.
First, they are complicated. They are basically an electric car and a gasoline car. They have all the parts of both plus some additional stuff to help then decide when to run the gasoline engine. The only thing they don’t have is a big battery.
Worse yet is how they generally get used. Most people don’t plug them in. That is, they just drive them and fill the gas tank when needed. The end result is that they tend to pollute as much or more than a traditional gasoline car.
In addition, they have the same maintenance requirements of a gasoline car, maybe a bit more. That is, you have a gasoline engine the maintain along with its cooling system and typical accessories.
Some people are going to say “they are cheaper than a true battery electric car”. On the day you buy them that may be true but that is a very temporary situation. In two ways:
- The maintenance costs will be much higher than a real battery electric.
- As the price of batteries continues to drop, the value of your hybrid will drop.
There may be a use case for them but, in general, they are not what you need. Their sales continues to drop which supports this conclusion.