Electric Cars vs. Hybrid Cars: Which is Better?
If you’re looking for a new car, you might wonder which is better: an electric car or a hybrid car. Well, there are certain benefits and drawbacks to both types of vehicles. To help you better understand which would be the best fit for you, here is a general overview and the pros and cons of each.
What are electric cars?
An electric vehicle is just as the name sounds — it is fully electric. An electric vehicle doesn’t offer an engine and transmission in the classic sense because it doesn’t use any gasoline. Some examples of electric cars include the Ford Focus Electric, the Nissan Leaf, and the Tesla Model S. There are several makes and models out there, but those are the most popular. Now, because electric vehicles use only electricity, there is no backup engine to help you when you run out of juice. When you’re out, you’re out. Sometimes this can mean scrounging for power and trying to find a station to “fill up.” Usually, they allow room for larger batteries, but not always.
What are the pros of electric cars?
- Extremely quiet and quick: Since the engine and transmission aren’t needed in an electric vehicle, there is hardly any noise. Plus, they’re insanely quick, especially from a complete stop. All of the torque is available immediately. That’s great in the stop-and-go of city traffic, but that pep advantange all but disappears when headed toward higher speeds.
- No emissions: These vehicles run on electricity rather than gas, which means they will produce zero pollution. The lack of emissions is a stark difference from vehicles that require fuel. This means that you’ll definitely pass an emissions test if you have to take one at all!
- Cheap to operate and maintain: Having no engine or transmission means that you will never have to get an oil change or transmission flush again. The parts for electric cars are also notorious for being extremely cheap.
What are the cons of electric cars?
- Very limited range: Most electric cars have a range of only about 80 to 100 miles. When you drain the battery over halfway, you’ll lose extensive power. The amount is decreased even further when you use your AC or charge your phone and these activities will cost you drastic mileage.
- Long recharging time: Some popular models take around two hours to recharge 100%. Quick recharge stations give you half of a charge in 30 minutes, but that is still a significant amount of time compared to filling up with gas in five minutes or less.
- Much higher cost: Most electric cars are going to run between $30,000 and $40,000, which is equal to the cost of a luxury car or a higher-end hybrid vehicle.
What are hybrid cars?
Hybrids are much like electric cars, but they also use fuel when needed. When it’s more efficient, or if you’re running out of battery, fuel will take over as your primary source of power. This dual-use can make hybrid cars a much better option for the commuter as you can get many miles on one tank and battery. Popular hybrid brands include Cadillac ELR, Chevrolet Volt, and Toyota Prius.
What are the pros of hybrid cars?
- Lower fossil fuel dependence: While you do have to use fuel in a hybrid vehicle, it’s much cheaper than having a car that relies solely on gas for power.
- Further distance: Compared to electric cars, you can drive much further in a hybrid. In addition to the battery, you’ll likely have a full-sized gas tank as well.
- Better city driving: If you’re primarily driving around the city, you will find that you’ll get 50 mpg very easily.
What are the cons of hybrid cars?
- Still reliant on fuel: What’s great about electric cars is that you’ll never have to buy gas again. No smell, no fuss. Electric prices are pretty steady while gas prices can fluctuate quickly and drastically.
- Weak battery: Compared to an electric car, you’ll have a much weaker battery in a hybrid. While you can improve the battery life, it will put a drag on things in the beginning.
- Low variety: Since they’re relatively new, there isn’t much variety in hybrid vehicles. Most makers have decided to go full electric or full fuel, so that leaves a gap in-between with hybrids. There are just a few models available to choose from.