Hybrid Vs Electric Car – Which Should I Buy?


Jul 19th, 2021

Hybrid Vs Electric Car – Which Should I Buy?

Car buyers these days are genuinely spoilt for choice. Not only do you have plenty combustion engine models to choose from, but you also have a good selection of hybrid and electric models on your plate.

If you must pick between a hybrid and an EV, then by all means, go all-electric. Both types of vehicles certainly have their fair share of pros and cons, but with an EV, you're only dealing with the challenges unique to them. With a hybrid car, you'll have to face issues stemming from both its combustion engine side and the electric side of things as well.

To better understand why electric cars are the better option between the two, let’s take a deep dive into what hybrid and electric cars are.

What Is a Hybrid Car?

Hybrid cars are just as the name suggests. They combine two different types of automotive propulsion. That means they rely on both fossil fuels and electricity to run. It's very common to see hybrid cars in Australia, as these vehicles have been widely adopted.

On the one hand, hybrid cars have internal combustion engines (or ICEs) that burn fuel just like any other standard car on the road. Yet, at the same time, they also have electric motors powered by a battery pack that also provides the vehicle with the power it needs.

What makes hybrid cars unique is that they can switch back and forth between using the combustion engine and the electric motors seamlessly, whenever they need to.

On the surface, the value proposition of a hybrid car seems fantastic. Hybrid car makers and their marketing teams will tell you that hybrids bring out the best of both worlds – that of conventional ICE cars and electric vehicles.

However, it’s often overlooked that hybrids must also deal with the disadvantages of being both types.

To understand the hybrid cars pros and cons, let’s look at what benefits and drawbacks they come with.

What Are the Benefits of a Hybrid Car?

No range or charging anxieties: Driving a hybrid car means you can still use the usual refilling stations for refuelling. You won’t have to worry about the electric battery running out like it would on an all-electric vehicle. As long as you can get gas in the tank, you'll be able to keep on driving.

Less emission: A hybrid car still relies heavily on its internal combustion engine. However, it will not be using that engine the entire time you’re driving, so there will be less gas and particulates emitted. It’ll automatically switch back and forth between the electric motor and the gas engine.

This lower emission makes the hybrid car slightly more environmentally friendly than conventional, ICE-only vehicles.

What Are the Drawbacks of a Hybrid Car?

Requires the usual ICE maintenance tasks: A hybrid car is still a combustion-engine vehicle at its core. That means you’ll still need to perform regular maintenance tasks as you would with any other ICE car. That includes oil and lube changes, brand new spark plugs once in a while, and more.

Bottom line: it’s not a maintenance-free vehicle.

Costlier than a conventional car: While hybrids are partially combustion-engine vehicles, they cost significantly more than conventional cars. Not only will you experience that higher cost when buying the car, but you’ll also pay more when it comes to maintenance and spare parts.

Hybrid cars require specialised parts and labour to keep them working.

What Is an Electric Car?

Electric cars, aka electric vehicles or EVs, rely exclusively on electricity. That means there is no onboard internal combustion engine; instead, there will be fewer moving parts than what you'd find in a conventional car.

In their place, you’ll find electric motors, battery packs, and of course, plenty of wiring.

There is plenty to love about electric cars. For instance, you can drive very far without having to stop to refill petrol or let the car cool down as you’d do with a conventional car.

Instead, you’d just need to keep those batteries charged at all times. As long as your EV’s battery has juice, you can go as far as the road will take you.

Besides that, many people prefer electric cars because they don’t emit toxic gases and particulates. Remember: since there is no combustion going on, there are no byproducts coming out of the car either.

Still, let’s take a balanced look by considering the electric cars pros and cons below.

What Are the Benefits of an Electric Car?

Zero emissions and zero noise: Two of the most sought-after benefits of electric cars are zero emissions and no noise. Electric motors are silent and only require power from the vehicle’s battery. In other words, electric cars help reduce air and noise pollution.

Minimal maintenance: Forget about your regular oil changing schedule and other ICE maintenance servicing. Besides changing minor parts like wipers and headlight bulbs now and then, you won’t have to worry about getting oil changes or anything like that.

No fossil fuel expenses: Driving an electric car also frees you from the ups and downs of petrol prices. Instead, the only thing you’ll have to concern yourself with is the price of electricity, which is generally lower than the cost of fuel.

What Are the Drawbacks of an Electric Car?

Restrictive charging: To be fair, charging an electric car can be pretty restrictive. Even today, there aren’t as many charging stations around town as there are petrol stations. Plus, charging stations are more common in urban areas, making it a challenge to drive cross-country.

Limited models available: An increasing number of carmakers are getting into the electric vehicle business. Still, there aren’t as many models for buyers to choose from just yet.

Final Verdict: Hybrid Vs Electric Car

If you’re struggling to decide between buying a hybrid or an all-electric vehicle, and money isn’t an issue, then you’re better off buying an electric car.

Yes, electric vehicles come with their fair share of downsides (some of which were mentioned above). Fortunately with an electric car, you’ll only be dealing with electric car problems.

In comparison, with a hybrid, you’ll be dealing with both combustion engine and electric vehicle problems simultaneously.

So, again, if you must choose between the two, then go all-electric. It's better than sitting on the fence with a hybrid stuck between two worlds.

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By Ray Hasbollah