An electric car is a vehicle propelled by one or more electric motors that draw power from rechargeable batteries. On the other hand, a hybrid is a vehicle that consists of both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. Essentially, hybrids use more than one means of propulsion by drawing power from both a petrol/diesel engine and an electric motor interchangeably, depending on the design of the vehicle.
With that said, it is now clear that the primary difference between an electric car and a hybrid car revolves around their mode of propulsion. Here are a few more differences worth noting:
According to various energy agencies, electric vehicle efficiency is two times better than the average hybrid vehicle. Firstly, hybrids use power from a combination of an electric motor and an internal combustion engine, meaning that they require fuel to run. This means that hybrid vehicles consume more overall energy to travel the same distance as an electric car. In any case, the function of the electric motor installed inside a hybrid vehicle is just to supplement the gas engine whenever the car runs out of fuel, or requires more power to navigate rough terrains. Considering this, hybrids are evidently more efficient only for short-distance driving.
The battery ranges between an electric car, and a hybrid vehicle is incomparable. Typically, EVs have higher battery ranges compared to hybrid vehicles, given that they solely rely on electric power stored in the rechargeable batteries. Conversely, the battery in an ev hybrid car is smaller and can only support a limited range of driving. In fact, most hybrids only draw power from the electric motor when driving at very low speeds and short distances. For this reason, the majority of motorists prefer EVs for long-distance travel.
Industry experts consider both electric and hybrids cars as eco-friendly vehicles. However, in terms of emissions, electric cars are far much superior and environmentally friendly. Essentially, EVs solely rely on electric energy rather than gasoline. For this reason, they do not pollute the environment, hence the name Zero-Emission Vehicles (ZEV).
On the other hand, hybrid cars (also known as Low Emission Vehicles (LEV) ) use gasoline, hence they release harmful gases, albeit on a lower scale. The good news is that hybrids are still better than regular cars in terms of tailpipe emissions.
Electric and hybrid cars use different types of fuel. While electric vehicles depend on electricity for propulsion, hybrids use both petrol/diesel and electric energy. The cost of fuel depends on the type of car you opt for.
Apparently, hybrids offer more fuel flexibility than EVs, given that they can run on petrol or diesel as well. Moreover, some hybrid cars can switch automatically between the combustion engine and the electric motor when traveling, as a result, this overcomes the limited range an electric vehicle might have.
Nevertheless, fuel flexibility does not necessarily translate to cheaper costs. Various statistics suggest that electric cars are far much cheaper to run than hybrid vehicles. With the price of crude oil rising every day, investing in an electric car becomes a more viable option. Moreover, you may charge your EV using various renewable sources of energy, ranging from solar power to wind power.
Another difference between EVs and hybrids revolves around maintenance costs. Regrettably, hybrid cars experience the same mechanical and maintenance issues that regular cars often run into. Essentially, you have to change the engine oil regularly, check on transmission fluids and purchase belt replacements and coolants given that a hybrid car comes with a combustion engine.
In contrast, electric vehicles do not have such issues since they have fewer movable parts. In addition, an EV does not have a combustion engine that requires oil and transmission fluids. The only expenses you have to contend with are tire changes and insurance plans.
Rebates and Incentives
In a bid to lower carbon emissions and save the environment, different government agencies offer rebates and incentives to prospective car buyers to consider purchasing electric and hybrid cars over regular internal combustion engine vehicles. Purely electric cars attract the highest incentives closely followed by hybrid cars due to obvious reasons – EVs are Zero-Emission Vehicles. These incentives may go a long way to make EVs and hybrid vehicles more accessible.
So what type of car should I opt for?
The type of car you choose entirely depends on your driving needs and lifestyle. If you often commute short distances between your home and place of work or school, then a hybrid car will come in handy in terms of savings. Essentially, the electric battery in a hybrid car only supports a limited range, meaning that you can only use it for short, quick trips. For longer distances, your hybrid car will use the combustion engine, hence attracting high fuel costs.
On the same breath, a hybrid incorporates all the beneficial features of both electric and conventional cars to come up with a powerful, energy-efficient vehicle. This makes it possible for a hybrid to navigate terrains that a regular vehicle or an electric car cannot go. In most cases, the motor of an electric vehicle may not release enough power when driving on a very steep slope. In this case, a hybrid comes in handy, as it will use the output power of the petrol engine to propel the vehicle.
Conversely, a fully electric car is ideal for all types of trips. You can drive an EV for a quick dash to the mall or a long-distance road trip without worrying about fuelling at a gas station. You just need to ensure that you charge the batteries fully, preferably overnight, before embarking on your journey.
From the look of things, the upsides of owning an electric car outweigh those of acquiring a hybrid car. In essence, EVs are cheaper, more energy-efficient, and easy to maintain. In addition, they are renowned for their zero carbon emissions. If you were to choose between an electric car and a hybrid, we would gladly vouch for the former. Nevertheless, the final decision depends on your driving needs and preferences.