Car Ownership Advice 9 November 2021

Hybrid car Vs Electric Car: Which One Suits You?


Are you hoping to take your commitment to sustainable living one step further and save money at the same time? Look no further than a hybrid or an electric car. But how do you know which one is best for you? What’s the difference between them anyway? We’re here to help you find a perfect fit.

What is a hybrid car?

Hybrid cars are a great middle-ground between petrol-powered and electric, perfect for drivers who cruise around town at lower speeds (between 20 to 100). Designed to be a combination of combustion and battery power, hybrids still use a traditional petrol engine some of the time, leaning on electrical storage when required.

There are three main types of hybrid for you to choose from:

  • Hybrid Electric Vehicle: This is the standard Hybrid model. The petrol-powered combustion engine is the main source of power, while the electric motor supports acceleration.

  • Mild Hybrid Electric Vehicle: In these hybrids, the electric motor is smaller and only assists in short bursts in a limited capacity.

  • Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle: The electric motor is the primary source of power for these hybrids, with the petrol-powered engine only being used when you run into problems. Like electric vehicles, you can plug them in and charge them up.

How does a hybrid car work?

The petrol-powered combustion engine is the primary source of energy to move the car. At higher speeds, on the open road, the petrol engine will kick in and take over for efficient driving. The electric motor comes into play at lower speeds and will help to reduce idling when your car is stopped in start-stop traffic. Unlike their electric counterparts, you don’t need to worry about charging them via an external source. Most hybrids (not including a plug-in hybrid) will generate their own electricity by regenerative braking that the car will store for use later.

Why buy a hybrid car?

Hybrids are a great first step towards reducing your driving emissions. Offering the best of both worlds, they can be significantly cheaper to purchase compared to an electric car. While they aren’t completely fuel-free, you’ll still save money without needing to fill up as frequently. A hybrid may suit you if you enjoy long drives and don’t want to worry about charge limitations. The petrol engine will kick in on the open road so that you don’t have to worry about where you’ll find your next charging station. You also won't have to sit and wait for it to charge. Instead, the car will generate and store most of the electricity it needs.

What is an electric car?

If you’re serious about minimising your carbon footprint and saving money on fuel, an electric car is the way to go. Unlike traditional cars that are petrol powered with a fuel tank that powers the engine, electric cars run on electricity. To ‘fuel up’ you just need to plug them into a charging station or even a socket at home - like a phone. They have lower running costs with fewer moving parts that need maintenance.

How does an electric car work?

Forget about exhaust fumes and cylinders - electric cars swap out fuel for electrons as the energy source. After being plugged into a charging point, the cars draw on electricity from the grid. They store that electricity in rechargeable batteries that then power the electric motor. Then, the motor turns a transmission which turns the wheels. From the outside, they look exactly like any other car. However, if you listen, you’ll soon notice that electric cars are practically silent when running. You’ll also notice there’s no exhaust which means these cars emit no carbon dioxide emissions.

Why buy an electric car?

Electric cars have a wide range of great benefits that can explain their popularity:

  • Reduce your running costs. There’s no need to watch petrol prices with an electric vehicle. With the ability to charge from home, all you’ll see is a little addition to your electricity bill!

  • Better for the environment. Traditional petrol-powered cars produce carbon dioxide. Electric cars don’t release exhaust emissions as you drive them and can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

  • A smoother drive. Without a petrol-powered engine, electric cars are significantly quieter. Plus, the torque (the engine’s rotational force) creates high and responsive acceleration for a smoother driver.

  • They require less maintenance than petrol-powered vehicles. Electric cars are often said to be easier and cheaper to maintain without repairs associated with traditional engines like exhaust and starter motors.

When it comes down to what car is going to suit you best, it’s all about how you drive it. If you’re mainly around town but also want the reassurance of petrol for open roads, then a hybrid car might be the way to go. However, if you’re serious about investing in sustainable driving and infrastructure in your area doesn’t hold you back, then there’s no reason to not go electric.

Concerned about how much it costs to maintain, repair or replace hybrid parts and electric car components? Reach out to mycar today on 13 13 28 or make an appointment at your local service centre.

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