The popularity of hybrid and electric cars has grown substantially in recent years, and this is a trend that is set to continue.
Hybrid cars and electric cars are united in their core aim of a greener, more efficient future, but we’re going to take a look at what sets them apart so you can see which style is best for you.
What is the difference between a hybrid and an electric car?
Although hybrid and electric cars are both a step in the same direction, the technology inside is very different and can vary a lot between vehicles.
Hybrids combine a traditional ICE engine with an electric motor, and these work together, or separately, to drive the car. This means that fuel is still required, but consumption is offset by the electric motor.
Electric cars however are purely powered by electric motors, charged up via a plug, and require no addition of petrol.Read about the history of hybrid and electric cars
Types of Hybrids
Electric cars are what they are, but there are different variations when it comes to hybrids.
Standard hybrids are self-charging, meaning you just add fuel like a conventional vehicle and the battery charges while you’re on the move.
Plug in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) are closer to electric vehicles in that they have a larger electric-only range and the battery needs to be charged up via a plug.
Hybrid vs Electric: Comparisons
The range of both hybrid and electric cars depends on the battery capacity and model of car. As they become more popular and develop further, range will continuously improve.
Hybrids can be better for longer trips because you don’t have to factor in charging stops; you can simply swap to fuel. In an electric car, you have to consider your route and journey time to ensure there are charging stations available.
As they run solely on electricity and use no fuel, electric cars put out zero emissions into the atmosphere, so they are the greener of the two options. The fact there’s no fuel also means you can expect a very quiet drive.
Hybrid cars are still highly efficient as, thanks to the battery motor, they don’t use as much fuel and therefore have a much lower level emissions level than an ICE engine.
Some electric models can easily outshine their fuel counterparts in terms of speed and performance. They also have instant torque available so you can expect maximum power from the get-go.
If you enjoy a lounder drive as opposed to a quiet one, hybrids will offer you exactly that when you swap to the fuel engine. It will feel similar to the traditional cars you’ve previously driven, and is a nice compromise between them, and fully electric cars.
It does depend on the brand and model you choose, but as a general rule, electric cars are more expensive than hybrid cars to buy. However, as they run only on electricity, which is significantly cheaper than fuel, their running costs are going to be less in the long term. Hybrids still use a lot less fuel than a standard car though, so they’re still a cost-effective option.
Hybrid CarsMercedes-Benz C-Class Hybrid
This unique diesel-hybrid offers fantastic versatility, power, and all the luxury touches you would expect from a Mercedes.
MINI Countryman Plug-In Hybrid
With a super smooth transition between electric and petrol drive, the Countryman is designed to a high technical standard.
The self-charging Corolla is striking in its futuristic looks, and has the powerful yet efficient engine to match.
Electric CarsBMW i3
A classic BMW with a twist, the i3 offers all the athleticism and power the brand prides itself on.
The I-PACE offers a highly impressive range of up to 298 miles, and a beautifully sleek, aerodynamic design.
Brand new and ready to impress, the interactive ID.3 joins the e-Golf in Volkswagen’s growing electric range.