You’re trying to decide whether you should buy an electric or hybrid vehicle – congratulations! You’re taking a step toward the future. As we move away from gasoline engines and toward a more sustainable fuel or power source for our cars and trucks, we’re getting that much closer to reducing our negative impact on our air, our environment, and our planet. It’s a big step. But now comes the bigger question: which greener vehicle do you choose and why?
First, let’s review the difference between an electric vehicle and a hybrid vehicle.
Electric vehicles, or EVs, are powered by electricity alone. That electricity can be generated in a number of ways depending on the type of vehicle, from solar panels to batteries holding a charge. Many vehicles run on electric power, including trains and buses, but for our purposes, we’re discussing personal vehicles like cars and trucks.
Hybrid vehicles use combined engines that can run on both gasoline (or ethanol) and electricity. They are a marriage between traditional combustion engines and newer electric vehicles. There are different types of hybrids – some generate their own power by charging the battery through the internal combustion engine and regenerative braking, while others are “plug-in” vehicles, which means they charge more like a typical electric car by using a charging station.
What are the pros and cons of an electric car?
These days with the push for alternate energy and greener solutions, there are a lot of rebates and incentives for owning an electric vehicle. Electric cars offer a lot more simplicity than their combustion engine counterparts – their engines are more streamlined and don’t have nearly as many moving parts. This makes repairs and service relatively straightforward. Not a lot of surprises there. They release no emissions, which eliminates the need for emissions testing, and electricity is a more affordable option than gasoline when you crunch the numbers. They also operate very quietly – no rumbling engine to worry about.
On the con side, electric vehicles require a higher upfront cost and a significant amount of time to charge. There’s a limited range to a full battery charge and far less accessibility when it comes to recharging your car – charging stations remain much more difficult to find than gas stations. If you don’t have access to a proper charging outlet at your home, charging there can be a problem.
What are the pros and cons of a hybrid car?
There are different types of hybrid vehicles, but we’ll be focusing mainly on a “parallel” hybrid, which is what most people think of when they think of these cars. The advantage here is that you get excellent fuel efficiency and save on gas costs thanks to an electric engine that doesn’t require you to rely solely on your combustion engine. For traveling longer distances, these cars are ideal because you can switch over to the internal combustion engine and find gas more easily. It’s a great compromise between cost and alternative energy.
However, they are more expensive than a standard ICE vehicle and typically have lower power output. The ICE still leaves the issue of emissions. While lesser, they are still a concern, as is emissions testing.
What do you think? Which sort of vehicle feels right for you?