What’s the Difference Between Hybrid and Electric Cars?

March 6th, 2022 by

If you’re interested in purchasing a hybrid or electric car, but aren’t quite sure which is the right choice for you, consider comparing the two to have a better idea of which one might better suit your needs and lifestyle. Knowing the answers to questions like how far they drive in a day, how much maintenance each car needs, and how much it costs to fuel them can help you determine which you might enjoy more.

What Are the Differences Between Hybrid and Electric Cars?

white electric chevrolet car

Image via Flickr by Crown Star Images

There are a few distinct differences between hybrid and electric cars that can help you gauge which one you should get:

Power

A hybrid uses a combination of a gasoline engine and an electric motor in order to move the vehicle. The electric motor sometimes powers the car, and at other times the gas engine does the work. Sometimes they work in tandem, resulting in less gas burned and providing you with better overall gas mileage. On the other hand, an electric car runs solely on an electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery. You can charge the battery at home or by plugging it into one of many charging station locations around Youngstown and allowing it to regain its power.

Longevity

Hybrids and electric cars vary, when it comes to how far they can operate on one charge or a full tank of gas. Some hybrids can go over 600 miles on a single tank of gas, getting an impressive 50 or more miles to the gallon, which makes it very fuel and cost efficient. In contrast, a fully electric car, such as the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV, can get up to 259 miles per charge. Although it doesn’t go as far as a hybrid car, it’s ideal for people who are using their vehicles for commuting purposes and short trips.

Cost of fuel

When it comes to fuel cost, electric cars hands-down win the race. Since they are fully battery-operated, the only added cost for charging your car’s battery is in your electric bill, but still costs significantly less than its hybrid counterpart.

In contrast, because hybrid cars use a mix of gasoline and electric power, it costs about the same to fill up as an internal combustion engine (ICE), although the cost depends on what hybrid car you purchase. Although the cost of fuel is the same as it would be for an ICE, you get significantly more miles per gallon than an ICE, so you’re still saving money on gas.

Maintenance costs

In addition to fuel, both types of cars need maintenance, which accrue costs as well. Hybrid cars require many of the typical maintenance tasks as a conventional vehicle, such as having your oil changed and transmission fluid flushed, although a lot of its maintenance needs occur at a slower rate because of the car’s reliance on the battery as well. Electric cars are able to avoid maintenance tasks related to combustion engines, although they still have maintenance expenses for things like insurance plans and tire rotations.

Pros and Cons of Hybrid Cars

There are plenty of pros to owning a hybrid car, including:

  • They produce fewer emissions: Since hybrid cars use an electric motor some of the time, they put out less tailpipe emissions than conventional cars, which are better for the environment.
  • They earn you tax credits: Many hybrid and electric vehicles come with tax credits up to $7,500 that you can file on your income tax.
  • They have better fuel efficiency: Operating on both gas and electric means that you won’t need to fill up your hybrid as often.

There can also be downsides to driving a hybrid, such as:

  • They can cost more to repair: Because they have so many internal parts, it may take longer and cost more money to fix any issues associated with the car.
  • They may have higher insurance rates: Some drivers notice higher insurance rates because they live in more urban locations and the overall cost of the vehicle is often higher.
  • They don’t perform as well in the winter: A hybrid’s battery charge doesn’t last as long in the winter because of the cold temperatures, so you might find your car using its gas engine more than its electric counterpart.

Pros and Cons of Electric Cars

There are a lot of reasons that choosing an electric car is an excellent choice, such as:

  • They’re cheaper to fuel: The only cost associated with fueling an electric car depends on the amount of electricity it uses when charging the battery, which is considerably less than the cost of a tank of gas.
  • They’re low maintenance: Because they don’t have a combustion engine, they require less maintenance than conventional cars or hybrids.
  • They have no emissions: Unlike a hybrid, which still produces some emissions when driving, an electric car has no tailpipe emissions because it runs solely through battery power.

Although there are a lot of benefits of having an electric car, there are also some cons, including:

  • They don’t travel as far: Electric cars need to be recharged after about 250 miles, depending on the make and model, so if you’re planning on a trip that’s over that amount, you’ll need to stop overnight and refuel.
  • They take longer to refuel: Depending on the electric car you have and the type of outlet you’re using, recharging the battery to full capacity can take 12 hours or more.
  • They’re more expensive: Electric cars tend to be more expensive than hybrids or conventional cars, although you may find that some electric cars, such as the Bolt EUV, with a surprisingly low MSRP of $33,500.

If you’re only using your car to get you to and from work, an electric car might be the right fit, whereas if you’re looking for fantastic fuel efficiency, you might prefer a hybrid. Both options can easily get you all over Youngstown, Ohio, and at Sweeney Chevrolet, we’re happy to help you find your perfect car. Give us a call or stop by to look at some of our new cars today!