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Hybrid vs Electric Cars: Pros & Cons and Which is Better?

Hybrid vs electric which car is better
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Since the introduction of the first electric car in 1890 and the first hybrid car in 1900, there has been significant growth in both auto types, and they have become popular over the years.

The net-negative goal has become a household topic as many are aware of the war against climate change. This has led to innovative approaches to reducing carbon emissions.

In the transportation sector, traditional cars and passenger vehicles, designed with internal combustion engines (ICEs), emit approximately 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, according to epa.gov.

With the introduction and production of hybrid and electric vehicles, we may be able to combat climate change and reduce yearly emissions from automobiles.

Both vehicle types, hybrid vs electric cars, have proven to be really innovative concepts, and you may be willing to buy one of either.

If you’re in the market for a new or used car and would like to know the difference between hybrid vs electric cars, their pros, and cons, and determine which is better for you, then keep reading.


Hybrid vs Electric Cars: Hybrid Cars

A hybrid car is a vehicle that is powered by a gasoline engine and an electric motor. These two engines work hand in hand to power the vehicle.

It is just like a regular vehicle, but with some assistance. With the electric engine in a hybrid car, there is higher fuel efficiency, lower emissions, and better power.

A hybrid car, or hybrid electric vehicle, has a smaller battery than a conventional electric vehicle and cannot run on electricity alone.

When on the road, the gasoline engine is used for longer periods of time and longer trips, while the electric motor comes in when the vehicle is out for a short trip.

In the following section, we will compare the benefits and drawbacks of hybrid vs electric cars.


Hybrid vs Electric Cars: Electric Car

An electric car, as the name implies, is solely powered by electricity. Instead of an internal combustion engine, it has a rechargeable battery that stores energy for powering the car. They are usually charged at public or private charging stations, and unlike hybrids, they have larger batteries and can be driven for longer distances after each charge.

READ ALSO: 5 most reliable Chevrolet Silverado models

Pros of Hybrid Cars

1. Better fuel efficiency

Hybrid cars are powered by both gasoline and electricity. This means that they can cover greater distances and emit less carbon dioxide. This has to be one of the major pros of hybrid cars: compared to regular vehicles, they generate fewer emissions and can easily lead to a net-zero economy.

2. Regenerative Braking

Regenerative braking is another benefit of hybrid cars. Regenerative braking is a mechanism that slows down a moving vehicle and converts its kinetic energy into a storable form. This energy is something that could have been lost but is now stored for later use. In hybrid cars, this energy is stored in the batteries and used by the electric motor to power the vehicles.

3. Affordable: cheap upfront cost

Hybrid cars are relatively cheaper than electric vehicles, and they stand as a more affordable option for carbon footprint reduction.

Cons of Hybrid Cars

1. Limited All-Electric Range

Hybrid cars are primarily designed to be powered by a gasoline engine, and as such, their electric range is very small. If you want to go on a long trip or drive over a couple of miles, then you will have to fill your tank and depend on the gasoline engine.

2. Higher Emissions

Hybrid cars have higher fuel efficiency than regular cars, and they generate fewer emissions, but compared with electric vehicles, they have higher emissions.

3. Higher maintenance costs

Hybrid cars are built with quite a lot of mechanical parts, and these parts are really expensive and difficult to get. Be aware that finding a mechanic who can perform proper servicing and maintenance on a hybrid car can be difficult, as not all mechanics can work on hybrid vehicles.

The most popular hybrid vehicles on the market today

If you are in the market for a new or used hybrid car, here are some of the most popular hybrid cars in the automobile market today.

  • Toyota Prius
  • Toyota Camry Hybrid
  • Honda Insight
  • Kia Niro
  • Chevrolet Volt
  • BMW i8
  • Ford Fusion Hybrid
  • Hyundai Ioniq
  • Lexus LS 500h

When you visit any dealership to purchase a used hybrid vehicle, be sure to check the history of that hybrid car by purchasing a vehicle history report.

A vehicle history report from Detailed Vehicle History provides information about the car’s ownership history, auction history with images, sales history, accident history, damage history, vehicle specifications, and more.

Getting a vehicle history report for that hybrid or electric vehicle puts you one step ahead of the dealer, as you have all the information you need to choose the most reliable vehicle available in the dealership and leaves you in the position to make an informed decision.

READ ALSO: 5 Best Used Electric SUVs to Buy in 2023

Pros of Electric Cars

1. Zero Emissions

A significant benefit of electric cars is the absence of carbon emissions. They do not require gasoline or other fuel and do not emit carbon dioxide or any other pollutant. They serve as a great transportation medium that is easy to use and easy to maintain.

2. Lower operating costs

As mentioned above, using gasoline-powered cars comes with the cost of purchasing gasoline as often as you would want a vehicle to be up and running. With electric vehicles, all they require is a quick charge. Compared to ICEs, the cost of running an electric motor is cheaper as electricity is comparatively cheaper. Also, most often, electric cars require little maintenance compared to gasoline-powered cars.

3. Easy and convenient charging

Getting a place to charge an electric car is now easier and more convenient than before. There are lots of public charging stations springing up worldwide. All you need to do is locate one in your local state that is the closest to you and work with it.

Cons of electric cars

1. Higher upfront costs

The prices of electric cars have been one of the major reasons why they are not as common as they should be now. Although the companies are working hard to improve the features and reduce upfront costs, they are not quite there yet. Compared to hybrid cars and traditional vehicles, electric cars stand out as the most expensive cars in the automotive industry.

2. Limited Range

Constant development and fixes here and there have increased the electric car’s range per charge, but compared to regular vehicles and hybrid cars, they have a limited range. Currently, the highest an electric car can go is 80 miles with a single charge from a DC fast charge source.

3. Charging Time

Using a level 1 120V AC plug, a one-hour charge delivers 2 to 5 miles of driving, which means that long trips would require more charging time.

The most popular electric cars on the market today

Here is a list of the most popular electric cars on the market today.

  • Tesla Model 3
  • Tesla Model Y
  • Chevrolet Bolt
  • Nissan Leaf
  • Jaguar I-PACE
  • Audi e-tron
  • Hyundai Kona Electric
  • Kia Niro EV
  • Volkswagen ID.4
  • Ford Mustang Mach E

A vehicle history report always comes in handy when purchasing a used electric car from a dealership. With one, you can make informed decisions and purchase a reliable vehicle.

Similarities between hybrid and electric cars

Buying either an electric vs hybrid car comes in handy because at the end of the day, you

  1. Spend less on fuel
  2. Reduce carbon emissions.
  3. May be eligible for a federal income tax credit of up to $7,500.
  4. May get discounts from insurance providers.

This article demonstrated that both vehicle types are quite similar, but they have distinct differences. We’ll highlight them in the next section.

Classic Toyota VIN Decoder

Differences between hybrid and electric vehicles: electric cars vs. hybrid cars

The difference between electric and hybrid cars has been highlighted already, but this will give a clearer picture of the differences.

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Vehicle Specification Hybrid cars Electric cars
Engine Internal combustion engine (ICE) and electric motor(s) Only electric motors are used.
Battery size 14kWh 40kWh
Power source Petrol/gasoline and electricity Electricity only
Price range More affordable Loss affordable
Fuel efficiency Combination of ICE and battery range Battery range
Charging Regenerative braking Needs charging
CO2 emissions lower than traditional cars Zero emission

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