In recent years vehicle manufacturers have made more advancements in the industry, producing better and more efficient cars that no longer rely fully on gas to operate. And among such modern cars that are gaining more popularity in the market are hybrid and electric cars. But what’s the difference between a hybrid vs electric car?
Both hybrid and electric cars offer numerous advantages to users and the environment. Even so, they have varying features, which might make it quite difficult for you to choose the best model for you.
To help you determine which car would be ideal for your needs, we discuss how hybrid and electric cars work, their main differences, as well as the benefits and downside associated with the types of vehicles. Read on!
Table Of Contents
Hybrid Vs Electric Car: What’s the Difference?
The chart below is a summary of hybrid vs electric car comparison:
|SPECIFICATIONS||HYBRID CARS||ELECTRIC CARS|
|Engine||? Electric motor and internal combustion engine||? Electric motor only|
|Fuel Source / Power Source||? Relies on both fossil fuels (diesel and petrol) and electricity||? Uses only electrical power via a DC battery pack|
|Fuel / Electricity Cost Per Mile||0.06$ – 0.07$ / mile|
? More than an electric car, but a lot cheaper than a conventional car
|0.02$ – 0.05$ / mile|
|Maintenance Costs||0.09$ – 0.094$ / mile|
? Similar or slightly cheaper than a conventional car
|0.061$ / mile|
? Cheaper than a hybrid car
|Price Of the Car||? Similar to that of conventional cars that are powered by an internal combustion engine||? Very high|
|Electric Charging||? Not necessary||? Necessary|
|Refueling||? Necessary||? Not necessary|
|Time to fully charge or fill the fuel tank||? A few minutes just to refill the fuel tank||? About 8h to recharge. No fuel tank|
|Range||? Same as a normal car||? About 200 miles (300 km)|
|Emission Levels||? Higher than that of electric cars but lower than normal cars with a combustion engine||? Lower than that of hybrid cars and internal combustion engines|
|Fuel Efficiency||? Improved efficiency by combining both battery range and internal combustion engine (ICE)||? Dependent on battery capacity|
Both hybrid and electric cars have unique features that make them a better choice than regular (or ordinary) cars. Also, they have a lower impact on the environment, since they have lower or zero emissions into the environment compared to conventional gas-powered cars.
However, despite the common benefits and similarities that they share, the two car types also have significant differences in their functionality and performance.
The main difference between hybrid cars and electric cars is how each car is powered. A hybrid car derives its power from both an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. Also, both the motor and engine have separate batteries. On the other hand, an electric vehicle only uses the electric motor and battery to send power to its wheels and propel the vehicle.
Also, keep in mind that there are some hybrid cars that are designed to provide the electric-only driving mode that is usually available for short ranges and low speeds.
Comparing the fuel efficiency of both types, hybrid cars provide longer ranges than electric cars.
Furthermore, since hybrid cars depend on the internal combustion engine and fossil fuels to propel them, they release more CO2 emissions and particulate into the environment than their electric counterparts.
These emissions, especially the particulate, tend to pollute the environment by causing air pollution, which lowers air quality and overall sustainability.
On the contrary, electric cars only rely on electric motors to provide propelling power; motors that, by themselves, do not release any emissions into the atmosphere. Of course, in this case everything depends on what is actually used to generate the electricity necessary to recharge an erectric car battery.
When it comes to maintenance costs, hybrid cars are relatively more expensive compared to electric ones. Just like the regular internal combustion engine cars (ICEs), these vehicle types require regular checking of the engine oil, coolant and transmission fuel.
Also, the more the hybrid car is used, the more belt replacements will be needed. And even though the maintenance costs of a hybrid car may not reach the exceedingly high costs of conventional cars that run solely on the combustion engine, the costs are only slightly lower.
On the other hand, electric cars do not experience any maintenance costs associated with combustion engines. Still, the vehicles face universal car issues that increase their overall maintenance costs, such as structural damage, tire changes, and insurance plans.
Here’s a comparison table regarding the cost of maintenance for gas vs hybrid vs electric cars:
Maintainance Cost Per Mile – Gas vs Hybrid vs Electric Cars
|Gas Car||Hybrid Car||Electric Car|
|0.101$ / mile||0.09$ – 0.094 $ / mile||0.061$ / mile|
Finally, just like with hybrid cars, electric cars have the risk of battery degradation. When this happens, you might be forced to undergo huge expenses to replace the complex electric batteries.
Regarding the cost of the fuel or electricity necessary to travel, the table below shows that electric cars have the lowest cost per mile (source):
Travel Cost Per Mile – Gas vs Hybrid vs Electric Cars
|Gas Price||Gas Car||Hybrid Car||Electric Car||Electricity Price|
|2$ / gal||0.09$ / mile||0.04$ / mile||0.01$ / mile||0.02$ / kWh|
|2.5$ / gal||0.14$ / mile||0.06$ / mile||0.03$ / mile||0.09$ / kWh|
|3$ / gal||0.17$ / mile||0.07$ / mile||0.05$ / mile||0.16$ / kWh|
|3.5$ / gal||0.20$ / mile||0.08$ / mile||0.07$ / mile||0.23$ / kWh|
Finally, keep in mind that the car consumption will also depend a lot on your driving style. For example, things such as using cruise control on a highway and driving more carefully can definitively reduce consumption.
Also, if you are a careful driver and don’t have privacy concerns, you can further save some money by considering the drive safe and save insurance.
According to the Department of Energy in the United States, more than 5 million hybrid cars have been sold in the past twenty years.
What are Hybrid Cars?
As its name suggests, a hybrid car is a combination of two types of cars: an ordinary gasoline-powered car and an electric car.
Hybrid cars are also referred to as hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) or internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEs). They are usually powered by a combustion engine that runs on gasoline. These types of cars also feature an auxiliary electric motor that facilitates electric-powered driving.
Both the electric and petrol/gas engine work together to spin the wheels of the hybrid cars. This ensures that less gas is burnt, improving the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.
In other words, hybrid cars combine the benefits of low emissions and high fuel efficiency, ensuring that you use less money on gas while also promoting a cleaner environment and improving environmental sustainability; benefits that are rarely provided by other conventional cars.
The electric motor included in hybrid cars has a rechargeable battery pack attached to it. When the car is braking or cruising, excess power is generated by the engines. This power is then used to charge the batteries, which in turn increases the fuel efficiency of the vehicle.
How Do Hybrid Cars Work?
Hybrid cars draw power from one electric motor and a petrol engine (internal combustion engine).They can use both types of engines at the same time or simply rely on one engine.
Whether the car uses one engine or both engines is usually dependent on the driving mode. Using both gas and electric engines at the same increases the overall power of the vehicle.
How hybrid cars work depends on their design and their means of acquiring energy. Here are the two main types of hybrid cars:
- Standard hybrids – These types of hybrid cars use the internal combustion engine and regenerative braking to charge the battery pack, in turn providing electrical power that facilitates driving. However, they cannot be charged at regular electric car charging stations.
- Plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) – These hybrid cars are more similar to electric vehicles. Compared with the standard hybrids, they have larger electric batteries as well as the ability to drive only using electric power. In addition, PHEVs can be charged easily at electric car charging stations.
Here you can read about the pros and cons of hybrid cars.
After years and years of development, trial, and experimentation, the electric car has finally been launched in the market. And this car type has gained huge popularity in the market, with sales doubling to over 6.6 million in 2021!
What are Electric Cars?
Electric cars are also known as battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Unlike the hybrid vehicles that feature an internal combustion engine, these car models only have an electric motor.
The electric motor is usually powered by a rechargeable battery pack; you can recharge the battery pack either at home or at a public charging network.
So far, it is estimated that there are around 25,000 charging stations for electric vehicles at 15,500 locations around the world, which makes it much easier for car owners to find somewhere to charge.
Since electric cars run on electricity, they do not emit any exhaust gas from a tailpipe and they don’t need engine oil changes.
Besides, the vehicles do not contain the typical components for liquid fuel that are usually included in conventional cars and hybrid cars, such as fuel tanks, fuel pumps, and fuel lines.
The fact that electric cars do not burn any fossil fuels when operating makes them a potentially more sustainable choice of vehicles (it depends on how the electricity is generated). After all, the electrical power used to propel the vehicle does not generate emissions into the atmosphere.
How Do Electric Cars Work?
As mentioned above, electric cars are powered by electric motor. The battery provides energy, which is then converted into kinetic energy by the vehicle’s electric motor.
The motor can be very powerful, usually generating more torque compared to hybrid and conventional cars. This provides enough power to propel the wheels and initiate instant acceleration.
Therefore, with electric cars, there is no need for a traditional transmission, since the power generated by the motor goes straight to the wheels.
When electric cars are plugged into a charging point, they take electricity from the grid. The electricity is then stored in the batteries.
Then the electrical power provides the needed torque to turn the wheels and facilitate smooth driving. In fact, compared with other regular cars that use traditional fuel engines, electric cars accelerate much faster and feel lighter when driving.
Also bear in mind that electric cars can’t charge themselves on the go with just a few solar panels. This is because they require much more electric power than what can be hgenerated from the roof surface of the car.
In this article I explained the main advantages and disadvantages of a hybrid vs electric car. So which one is better? Hybrid Cars or Electric Cars?
Hybrid vehicles offer better gas mileage, less fuel dependency, a much more efficient engine, and regenerative braking. However, they have high maintenance costs and register a certain amount of emissions into the atmosphere. On the other hand, electric cars are easily rechargeable, have lower maintenance costs, and emit lower emissions than hybrid cars. Still, electric cars go for extremely high prices in the market.
To choose the best car model for you, you would do well to consider the different features provided by each of the vehicles as well as the hybrid vs gas cars pros and cons.
For example, the features provided by the hybrid car make it ideal for users who regularly drive on highways and smooth roads. On the other hand, if you are looking for a car that will give you a quality investment and for short commutes, you may prefer an electric car.
However, regardless of which car model you settle for, you can rest assured that by purchasing either model you will have promoted a more sustainable lifestyle!