There are no less than 1.6 billion cars in the world right now. Out of which, 1.25% of cars are hybrid, and 1.21% are electric. But these numbers don’t show the true picture of their popularity in the running decade. As the sales of electric and hybrid cars have seen a sharp rise in recent times.
The year 2022 saw a 75% increase in the sales of electric cars. Before the immense popularity of electric cars, the market share of hybrid vehicles was also on the rise. As people turned towards a more green and fuel-efficient option available at the time.
Now that electric cars are becoming readily available, people have both options. They can either go hybrid or fully electric. This article is aimed at providing a true electric car vs hybrid comparison. We’ll cover the advantages one carries over the other.
Let’s dive right into it!
Electric vs Hybrid Car: What’s the Difference?
Before we dwell into the comparison between electric and hybrid cars, you must know the difference between the two.
An electric car is powered only by electric motors. These electric motors draw their juice from batteries that need to be charged every now and then. They don’t have an engine that runs on fuel.
Hybrid cars, on the other hand, have an engine that runs on gasoline as well as electric motors to contribute towards power generation. They have two separate batteries. One to provide ignition for the internal combustion engine and another one to power electric motors.
You don’t need to charge a hybrid car. They use varied resources to charge themselves. One way is to generate a charge by drawing power from the engine shaft. Another way hybrid car batteries are charged is via regenerative braking.
Every time the brakes are applied the energy of the dying engine driveshaft is used to run the generator. As a result, electric current is produced, which is stored by the hybrid batteries.
So, fundamentally there are two main differences between electric and hybrid cars. Electric cars don’t have an engine but hybrid cars do. Plus, there is no need to charge the hybrid batteries.
Pros of a Hybrid Car (Cons of an Electric Car)
First of all, let’s discuss the advantages of owning a hybrid car. These facts will also present a true picture of areas where electric cars are lagging behind.
No Range Anxiety
There is no range limitation on a hybrid car. So, naturally, there is no range anxiety as well. Since hybrid cars run on both an engine and an electric motor, you don’t have to worry about one of these running out of juice.
As for electric cars, you may not find a charging point as common as a gas station. Charging infrastructure for electric vehicles is growing, but still, there are no such facilities in remote areas. For all practical reasons, you cannot take your electric car on long trips.
Hence, due to the backup of an internal combustion engine, you don’t have to worry about range limitations while driving a hybrid car.
No Charging Required
There is no need to charge a hybrid car at all. A hybrid car has two batteries, one to fulfill the needs of the internal combustion engine and another one to power up the electric motor. These batteries are charged via a generator that draws power from the engine driveshaft.
Electric cars, on the other hand, require extensive charging. It takes no less than 20-40 hours to charge a normal electric vehicle at home. At a level-II charging station, this time comes down to 10-12 hours, but still, that’s a lot.
There are a few DC fast charging stations as well, where charging time can be reduced to 30-40 minutes. But their exuberantly high prices per kWh don’t make them a favorable option.
Hence, it is a great advantage that you don’t need to charge a hybrid car. But charging an electric car takes such long periods of time.
Flexible Driving Modes
Hybrid cars offer at least three driving modes. Either you can choose the best of both worlds, which is the hybrid mode. In this mode, power from both the engine and motor is used. Then either you can run your car entirely on an ICE or the electric motor. Hence, the three modes.
Electric cars, on the other, don’t give this luxury. You just have the electric motors to power your rides. Hence, no flexible driving modes.
The latest 2022 Toyota Prius Hybrid costs only $26,170. You can also find other cheaper options on the market. Choosing a second-hand car would be even more beneficial. You can easily find a used hybrid car for under $15,000.
On the other hand, a decent electric car will cost you $35,000 at the least. If you want one with a decent range and battery, then be ready to cut a cheque in excess of $50,000.
Hence, electric cars have higher initial prices as compared to hybrid cars.
Pros of an Electric Car (Cons of a Hybrid Car)
No, let’s have a look at the benefits of an electric car over a hybrid. This will also give a fair idea about the cons of having a hybrid car.
Hybrid cars will reduce emissions into the environment as they draw a part of their energy from electric motors. Still, there will be some amount of emissions as the internal combustion engine is still running.
While electric cars provide a complete solution to the problem of greenhouse gas emissions. They run on clean energy that has no negative impact on our planet.
Hence, electric cars offer zero-emission, but hybrid cars can’t.
No Fuel Costs
In electric cars, there is no engine, so you don’t have to worry about fuel costs. While hybrid cars run on conventional fuels so you will be affected by gasoline prices to a certain extent.
It is true that you have to pay for the charging of an electric car, but it is way less than the fuel costs. So, electric cars offer the benefit of getting free from fuel costs forever.
Learn how to calculate the cost of charging electric cars.
Least Maintenance Required
Electric cars require the least amount of maintenance. That’s why the cost of maintaining an electric car is well under $100 per annum. The main reason is that you don’t need any oil and filter changer every 3 months or so. As there is no engine in an electric car.
Hybrid cars, on the other hand, require extensive maintenance. While we compare the maintenance of gasoline and electric cars, we say that gas cars have more parts, so they require more maintenance. This argument is even more valid in the case of a hybrid car.
A hybrid car combines electric and conventional powertrains. So, they have an even higher number of moving parts than a gas car. As there are multiple components of the hybrid powertrain. This is why hybrid cars are often known to have a higher fault ratio.
A hybrid car spends more time in a workshop as compared to an electric and even a gas-powered car. Plus, the life of hybrid car batteries is pretty short. You have to replace them every 3-4 years. So, the amount of savings you made on fuel would come out in the cost of batteries.
Though electric car batteries also need to be changed, they have a longer lifespan. Electric car batteries can survive between 10-12 years, hence the reduced cost.
So, electric cars have way lesser running costs as compared to hybrid cars.
The handling and general driving experience of an electric car are very smooth. It has no jerks in the process of power generation as you have it in an internal combustion engine. Hybrid cars, on the other, are known to have handling problems.
When two different kinds of powertrains are imposed on one another, there are a few synchronization problems. These lead to vibrations and riding discomfort.
Hence, electric cars offer a smoother and gentler drive.
You might be able to qualify for tax benefits if you purchase an electric car. Many governments, including the US, are promoting the slogan of going green. In the US, you’re eligible to receive a 50% sales tax refund on purchasing an EV. Hybrid cars don’t offer this luxury.
So, you can avail several monetary benefits like a tax refund on purchasing an electric car.
Final Word, Electric Car vs Hybrid Car
We’re currently facing two main problems regarding automobiles. One is the negative environmental impact of greenhouse gases produced by internal combustion engines. The other one is fuel costs in a market with ever-growing gasoline prices.
The second problem of fuel costs can be solved partially by turning to hybrid cars. But if you want to solve both problems in an efficient manner, the only way is to turn to electric vehicles. This fact is also evident from the long list of disadvantages of hybrid cars.
Though electric cars are pricey at the moment, but with every passing day, we’re getting more affordable electric cars. Automakers are also making huge progress in the areas of increasing the range and battery capacity. We’re certain and hopeful to get more range and better-charging infrastructure in the near future.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Do let us know in the comment section down below. We’d love to hear from you!