Hybrid vs Electric Car (Pros and Cons)

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!

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Hybrid Vs Electric Car: What’s the Difference?

If you are wondering about hybrid vs electric cars pros and cons, then you are in the right place! The chart below is a summary of hybrid cars vs electric cars comparison:

EngineElectric motor and internal combustion engineElectric motor only
Fuel Source / Power SourceRelies on both fossil fuels (diesel and petrol) and electricityUses only electrical power via a DC battery pack
Fuel / Electricity Cost Per Mile0.06$ – 0.07$ / mile
More than an electric car, but a lot cheaper than a conventional car
0.02$ – 0.05$ / mile
Maintenance Costs0.09$ – 0.094$ / mile
Similar or slightly cheaper than a conventional car
0.061$ / mile
Cheaper than a hybrid car
Price Of the CarSimilar to that of conventional cars that are powered by an internal combustion engineVery high
Electric ChargingNot necessaryNecessary
RefuelingNecessaryNot necessary
Time to fully charge or fill the fuel tankA few minutes just to refill the fuel tankAbout 8h to recharge. No fuel tank
RangeSame as a normal carAbout 200 miles (300 km)
Emission LevelsHigher than that of electric cars but lower than normal cars with a combustion engineLower than that of hybrid cars and internal combustion engines
Fuel EfficiencyImproved efficiency by combining both battery range and internal combustion engine (ICE)Dependent on battery capacity
Hybrid vs Electric Car – Comparison Table

If you would like to know more about the pros and cons of electric cars, read my dedicated blog post on the topic!

Fully electric vs hybrid car cost per mile

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 INL):

Travel Cost Per Mile – Gas vs Hybrid vs Electric Cars

Gas PriceGas CarHybrid CarElectric CarElectricity 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
$4 / gal$0.22 / mile$0.09 / mile$0.09 / mile$0.30 / kWh
Cost per mile based on gas and electricity prices – Gas vs Hybrid vs Electric Cars

So, electric cars have by far the lowest cost per mile compared to hybrids. This helps to recover the higher upfront cost necessary to purchase an electric car vs hybrid.

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.

Electric car vs Hybrid car Maintenance

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.

According to the US Department Of Energy, here are the average maintenance costs per mile for gas, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric cars:

Gas CarHybrid CarPlug-In HybridElectric
$0.101 / mile$0.094 / mile$0.09 / mile$0.061 / mile
Maintenance Costs ($ per mile) – Gas vs Hybrid vs Plug-in Hybrid vs Electric cars

So, electric cars require much less maintenance than hybrids and plug-in hybrids.

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. 

electric vs hybrid vehicle Purchase price

Electric cars have a higher purchase price compared to hybrid cars. This is due to the high cost of the EV batteries.

For the same reason, plug-in hybrids tend to have a higher price tag compared to conventional hybrids and mild hybrids. In fact, plug-in hybrid cars have a larger battery pack, allowing them to have up to about 50 miles of pure electric ride.

However, thanks to the reduced operating costs, depending on your annual milage, it is usually possible to recover the initial extra expense required to purchase an electric car in just a few years. Moreover, considering government incentives and tax credits for EVs, the gap between the 2 can be narrowed quite substantially.

Range and Charging / refueling

Comparing the range of both types, hybrid cars provide longer ranges than electric cars. In fact, even the best electric SUV have a range of about 300 miles, while hybrids can even have 700 miles.

The reduced range of EVs coupled with the relatively longer recharging times (compared to just refueling), are 2 of the greatest concerns when deciding to buy an electric car or a hybrid one.

Keep in mind that EV charging stations are now widespread in the US, and there are apps to easily locate them.

But for sure you will need to count at least 15-20 minutes (if there’s no queue) to fast charge your electric car during a long trip.

EVs vs Hybrids Environmental impact

Are hybrid or electric cars better for the environment? For sure they are better than gas cars, however, when it comes to comparing hybrids with electric cars, in most cases EVs are better than hybrids.

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.

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.

So, hybrid vs electric cars environmental impact, which is better overall? As usual, it depends on how you use them.

For short commuting trips, both plug-in hybrids and electric cars will have minimal impact. While a conventional hybrid will have a greater environmental footprint.

For long trips and high yearly milage, then electric cars, in the long run, and if charged from renewable sources, will have a reduced impact on the environment.

Just keep in mind that electric cars have higher upfront emissions caused by the increased need to mine metals such as lithium. However, those initial emissions are then offset during the 10+ years of the useful life of the vehicle. So, depending on your yearly mileage (the higher the better), you will start having lower overall emissions after a few years from the purchase of an EV.

A study by the Argonne National Laboratory and reported by Reuters shows that depending on how the electricity is produced, it can take between 1 and 5 years for an electric car to reach parity of emissions vs a gas car. So if the electricity is generated mostly by coal power plants, it would take 5 years, while it would take only 1 year if the power comes from renewable sources.


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 plug-in hybrid cars are designed to provide the electric-only driving mode that is usually available for short ranges and low speeds.

On the contrary, electric cars and trucks 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 electric car battery.

Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid Cars

charging a plug in hybrid car

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. Learn more about hybrid vs plug-in hybrid cars here.

Here you can read about the pros and cons of hybrid cars.

Electric Cars

Rivian R1S - one of the best electric SUV
Rivian R1S – one of the best electric SUV

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. Electric cars like Tesla also feature a regenerative braking system to improve efficiency and extend the range.

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 like Teslas 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 the result of the advancing of technology and are powered by an 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 RV solar panels. This is because they require much more electric power than what can be generated from the roof surface of the car.

Finally, do electric cars have alternators? No, electric cars don’t need one as it will only make them less efficient. Instead, electric cars can recover some energy with regenerative braking.


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.

Electric vs hybrid: 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!