Hybrid and electric vehicles are taking the world by storm. Both models are in high demand, but the question is, which should you choose? We'll help you make an informed decision.
Hybrid vs. Electric: What's the Difference?
The main difference is how the car is built. The wheels of a car can be powered in three different ways: directly from the engine, entirely from electric motors, or from both power sources.
Toyota Prius cars, for example, are primarily hybrids, meaning they have more than one method of powering the vehicle since they contain both a small engine and a battery.
In a hybrid, whenever you slow down or hit the brakes, the regenerative braking system generates energy and stores it in the battery for later use. It's important to remember that you can't charge a hybrid car like a Prius, they still rely on petrol or diesel, but they use far less than regular petrol or diesel-powered cars, saving you money and reducing CO2 emissions.
As for electric vehicles, such as those made by Tesla, they work by receiving energy from a rechargeable battery, which is then converted into power by an electric motor. Once power is generated, it goes directly to the wheels.
Unlike hybrids, EVs rely entirely on electricity to move them from A to B, making them very economical as they emit close to zero emissions.
To refuel your electric car, you'll need a home charger in your home before you can use your home's electricity. Or you can use public charging stations. A fast charging station can charge your vehicle from 0% to 80% in about an hour.
Hybrid vs Electric: Which Is Cheaper?
Electric cars are notoriously expensive. Kelley Blue Book estimates the average cost of a new electric car as of September 2022 at $65,291, well above the average cost of a new car in the U.S. at $48,681.
Hybrids, by comparison, are much less expensive, typically costing between $25,000 and $350,000 - a lot less than EVs.
You'll have to pay for fuel in a hybrid, even if it's significantly cheaper than your regular car. The official U.S. government fuel economy website estimates the cost of refueling a 2021 Prius at $1,000 a year. So even if you drive the car for 10 years and pay for fuel by that estimate, the hybrid will still be cheaper.
In terms of maintenance, both hybrid and new energy vehicles will likely require battery replacement at some point during ownership. Studies have shown that the cost of charging a standard-model Prius battery is about $1,023 - $1,235.
Again, for all-electric vehicles, those prices increase substantially, depending on the type and model of your vehicle.
However, if you buy a brand new hybrid or electric vehicle, the cost of the battery may be covered by the manufacturer's warranty as long as it's within the 8-year period.
Both hybrids and electric vehicles may be eligible for government-backed incentives. "If you purchase a new, qualifying plug-in electric vehicle or fuel cell electric vehicle (FCV), you may be eligible for a credit under Section 30D of the Internal Revenue Code up to $7,500," the IRS said.
It's always worth checking your state's laws and incentives, as they tend to vary from place to place.
Conclusion - Hybrids Are Much Cheaper
Unsurprisingly, hybrids are much cheaper to buy, lease, and maintain on average, but they cost a little more in fuel each year. As more and more companies adopt EVs at scale, we should see these prices come down.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Hybrid Vehicles
Environmentally Friendly - Hybrids emit far less emissions than regular gasoline or diesel-powered cars, so they are ideal for those who want to do their part to save the planet.
Cheaper - When you factor in fuel savings and potential government-backed incentives, hybrids can be considered bang for the buck.
Less Maintenance - In general, hybrids require less maintenance than regular cars. Still expect the occasional oil change and new battery, but these are usually covered by the manufacturer's warranty.
Driving Experience - Hybrids offer a very pleasant driving experience, especially considering that they are very quiet due to the electric motors. If you're someone who values that, a hybrid might be for you.
Upfront Fees - Hybrid vehicles may have higher upfront fees than regular vehicles. This is often due to new technology, increased demand and limited supply.
Expensive to Maintain - Although they generally require less maintenance, if something goes wrong, the cost can be higher than usual. Replacement parts can be expensive and scarce, and the technology developed is more complicated to repair, leading to higher costs.
Fossil Fuels - Although much better for the environment, hybrids still produce fossil fuel emissions. Electric cars don't produce anything, so if you're aware of your carbon footprint, it might be the right thing to do.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Electric Vehicles
Emissions - Electric vehicles produce zero emissions because they run entirely on electricity to power themselves. This is a huge plus for eco-centric users.
Incentives - The government offers many incentives to those buying electricity, often giving you money back on the purchase price. However, these only apply if you're buying a new EV, not a used one.
Fuel - No more stopping at a gas station and spending $50+ on gas or petrol. Electric vehicles rely on electricity, so just find a charging station.
Taxes - EVs are tax-free as are zero-emission vehicles. This means you can save hundreds of pounds a year compared to driving a typical petrol or diesel vehicle.
Maintenance - You can also say goodbye to regular oil changes, as EVs don’t require oil changes. There are also far fewer moving parts, which means there is less room for error, reducing maintenance costs for the driver.
Range - While significant improvements have been made, all-electric vehicles have far less range than gasoline or diesel alternatives. If you're new to EVs, this can come as a surprise and can lead to "range anxiety".
Charging - Unlike the gas stations that are everywhere, EV charging points are somewhat scarce. Efforts are being made to increase the number of gas stations, but we are still a long way from matching the sheer number of gas stations.
Charging Time - It takes less than a minute to fill up the car's gas tank with gasoline or diesel. Sadly, with electric cars, this can take over an hour. A fast charging station can charge your battery from 0% to 80% of its life in about an hour, but it's still time-consuming.
Price - It's a great price. Prices for electric vehicles are currently high, especially when compared to hybrid or petrol/diesel vehicles. They may be cheaper to run and supported by government incentives, but the cost is still a real premium, meaning only a few people can afford a new EV.
You should now have a better understanding of what hybrid and electric vehicles are, how they work, their costs, and their pros and cons.
If you can afford them, they're a great option for doing your part for the planet, and they'll save you some money in the long run as well. Do keep an eye out for any government incentives when buying new as this can further boost your savings. So if you want to buy new energy vehicles or hybrid vehicles, please contact us.
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