Electric & Hybrid Vehicles: Which One is Right For You?
The automotive industry is gradually shifting towards electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids. The increasing concern for the environment and the need for sustainable energy drives this shift. EVs and hybrid cars have similar features, but there are some big differences you need to understand before deciding to buy either vehicle.
What is an Electric Vehicle?
Electric vehicles (EVs) rely solely on energy stored in the battery for propulsion. An ICE or tailpipe isn’t in the vehicle, qualifying them as zero-emission cars. EVs have larger battery packs and require plugging in to charge.
Most EV owners charge at home, and if you need to charge faster than the charger, you may have to install your home charging station or use a public charging station. EVs can travel longer distances than hybrids.
Some companies have formed solely to manufacture battery electric vehicles (BEVs), the most popular being Tesla, which makes the Model 3 and Model Y. However, traditional automakers have also started producing BEVs, including Chevy’s own Bolt, the Kia EV6, Volkswagen’s ID.3, and ID.4, Nissan Leaf, among others.
What is a Hybrid Car?
A hybrid car combines two power sources – an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor. This means that a hybrid has a gas tank that supplies fuel to the ICE and a battery that provides electricity to the motor. There are two types of hybrids: full hybrids and plug-in electric vehicles (PHEVs).
PHEVs can be charged from the grid and through regenerative braking. Full hybrids have a battery charged from the ICE and energy recovered during braking. You can’t plug a full hybrid into the grid to charge the battery.
Hybrids can have a parallel or series design. Parallel hybrids allow the ICE and electric motor to power the car simultaneously, making it useful for extra power when climbing steep inclines or overtaking. Examples of models offering parallel hybrid versions include the Toyota Camry, Prius, Honda Accord, and Hyundai Sonata. However, hybrids use the ICE to produce electricity stored in the battery. The electric motor then draws energy from the battery to make the tires roll. Examples of series hybrids include the BMW i3, Ford Fusion, and Kia Optima.
Electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid vehicles are designed to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and promote environmentally friendly transportation. However, there are some key differences between the two:
The main difference between EVs and hybrids is their power source. EVs are powered solely by electricity stored in rechargeable batteries, while hybrids combine a traditional gasoline-powered engine with an electric motor and battery pack.
- EVs are powered solely by electricity stored in rechargeable batteries
- Hybrids combine a traditional gasoline-powered engine with an electric motor and battery pack
EVs typically have a shorter driving range than hybrids, which changes as battery technology improves. On the other hand, hybrids have longer ranges because they can switch between their gasoline engine and electric motor/battery pack as needed.
- EVs typically have a shorter driving range than hybrids
- Hybrids have longer ranges because they can switch between their gasoline engine and electric motor/battery pack as needed
EVs require a longer charging time than hybrids, which can be fueled up like traditional gas-powered vehicles. However, charging infrastructure is rapidly expanding, and many EV owners find that they can charge at home overnight or at work during the day.
- EVs require a longer charging time than hybrids.
- Charging infrastructure is rapidly expanding, and many EV owners find that they can charge at home overnight or at work during the day
Owning an EV has several benefits, including:
EVs produce no emissions and are powered by electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar power. As a result, they can significantly reduce your carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment.
- EVs produce no emissions.
- EVs are powered by electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar power
EVs can save you money on fuel and maintenance costs. Because they run on electricity, they are much cheaper than gas-powered vehicles. They also require less maintenance since they have fewer moving parts.
- EVs are much cheaper to operate than gas-powered vehicles
- EVs require less maintenance since they have fewer moving parts
EVs offer smooth, quiet acceleration and instant torque, making driving fun. They also have a lower center of gravity than gas-powered vehicles, which improves handling and stability.
- EVs offer smooth, quiet acceleration and instant torque
- EVs have a lower center of gravity than gas-powered vehicles, which improves handling and stability
Hybrids offer several benefits, including:
Improved Fuel Economy
Hybrid vehicles can get better gas mileage than traditional gas-powered vehicles, saving you money on fuel costs. They also emit fewer greenhouse gases than gas-powered vehicles.
- Hybrids can get better gas mileage than traditional gas-powered vehicles
- Hybrids emit fewer greenhouse gases than gas-powered vehicles
Increased Driving Range
Because hybrids have both a gasoline engine and an electric motor/battery pack, they can travel farther than EVs. This makes them a good choice for longer trips or for people who don’t have access to charging infrastructure.
- Hybrids can travel farther than EVs
- Hybrids are a good choice for longer trips or for people wanting to tow a trailer.