Considering that gas prices have been quite high in recent years, and are likely to go even higher in future, it’s no surprise that demand for hybrid and electric cars, which are more fuel-efficient than conventional cars, has increased significantly in recent years. This is despite the fact that hybrid and electric cars cost more to purchase, because their batteries and drive trains are pretty expensive. But, owning a hybrid or an electric car will help you save a lot of money on gas, which n the long term, is more cost-effective. However, deciding between an electric or a hybrid car can be difficult, as both options have their advantages and disadvantages, and you need to do some research before you decide what’s best for you and your needs.
On top of being efficient, hybrid and electric vehicles are environmentally-friendly, too. But, electric cars are more eco-friendly than hybrids. They have zero emissions, as they are powered by electricity, and don’t need an internal combustion engine to propel them. Hybrid vehicles, on the other hand, use both an electric motor and an internal combustion engine, which means they are not completely emission free. However, they are much less harmful to the environment than conventional cars, since the gasoline engine is only activated at high speeds, and starts working together with the electric motor, while at lower speeds, the vehicle is only propelled by the electric motor. Recently, there are electric cars that really impress with speed as well. But, if you want a car that is better for the environment, you should go for an electric car.
If you are more concerned about range, then you should opt for a hybrid. Thanks to its gasoline engine, a hybrid car gets a far better range than an electric car. Some hybrids have a range of over 350 miles, and with an electric car, you can get a 100-mile range, at best. This means that hybrids are better for you if you plan to drive long distances often. Electric cars are only convenient for shorter distances, and they are ideal for commuting and driving your kids to school.
Another advantage of hybrids over electric cars is the way they are charged. People who own electric cars usually charge them over night, so that they can use them during the day. With a hybrid, you can go on longer trips without having to come back home to recharge it, which is pretty convenient. Plus, at the moment, there are not enough electric vehicle charging stations in the United States, a drawback that is hard to overlook.
The purchase price is another factor that must be taken into account. While both hybrids and electric cars are more expensive than gasoline-powered cars, if you choose to buy one of these green vehicles, you will be qualified for government incentives, that can go as high as $7,500. While electric cars are generally more expensive to buy, they are cheaper to maintain, which is more convenient for you if you plan to keep the car for a long time.
The bottom line is that it’s totally up to you to decide whether a hybrid or an electric car fits your needs the most. If you are concerned about the environment and want to help reduce air pollution, then you should get an electric car, but if you are concerned about range and performance, a hybrid car is a better solution.
Jordan Perch is an automotive fanatic and “safe driving” specialist. He is an author of many how-to articles related to car buying, auto insurance etc, green technologies etc. Currently blogging for DMV.com.