When it comes to cars, most of us probably think of petrol and diesel as the most common types on the road. But with an increasing and much-needed focus on tackling climate change, there are a growing number of electric and hybrid vehicles taking to the road.
So, that begs the question: if you’re looking to buy a more eco-friendly car, be it buying outright or through online car finance, should you opt for a hybrid or electric car? What is the difference between the two?
In this article, we’re going to fully explain the difference between hybrid and electric cars, why they’re considered better for the environment, and how you can decide between a hybrid or electric for your next car.
The differences between hybrid and electric cars
When it comes to hybrid vs electric vehicles, there is one key difference between the two. How they are powered.
With a hybrid car, the engine is operated by either a traditional petrol or diesel engine, combined with a smaller electric motor. This enables a hybrid car to be driven by one, the other, or both, depending on your needs or what’s suggested by the onboard computer.
Hybrid cars have come a long way since their introduction in the 90s, with two types:
· Self-charging hybrids – this type of battery is charged by the non-electric engine, or electricity from braking.
· Chargeable hybrids – this type of hybrid has a much bigger battery than self-charging hybrid cars, but can only be charged via a cable.
Electric cars, on the other hand, operate specifically with the use of an electric motor and batteries. This requires the car to be charged via cable for it to function, but it offers practically zero emissions.
But let’s dive deeper into the hybrid vs electric debate by looking at their pros and cons.
Hybrid vs electric cars: pros and cons
When it comes to hybrid vs electric, there are pros and cons to both sides that need to be taken into account. As you’ll see below, there are just as many reasons to buy a hybrid as an electric car.
The pros of hybrid cars
If you’re choosing between a hybrid or electric car, one of the big things to consider is the driving range your new car will have. If you drive long distances on a regular basis, the last thing you want is to be constantly charging your car.
Hybrid cars offer great range, thanks to their combined electric and non-electric engines, and a greater range than some traditional cars thanks to their batteries. Even then, they’re also good for use in and around the city, as their batteries can be used in stop-start traffic to reduce pollution.
Hybrid cars are also much cheaper than their electric counterparts, as they’ve been around for longer. This applies to both buying and running a hybrid car, because you may be able to run short journeys on battery power alone.
The cons of hybrid cars
On the other side of the debate, hybrid car batteries don’t last long, especially on cable charged hybrids. Their batteries can’t be charged on the move, making the use of their batteries quite limited.
And, while hybrids will save you a bit of money on fuel economy, they still require you to stop at a filling station or plug your car in at home if you make a lot of long journeys. The added weight of the electrics also means that the quality of car handling in hybrids can be affected.
The pros of electric cars
When it comes to electric cars in the hybrid cars vs electric cars debate, they come with some pretty serious advantages. For one, they’re incredibly environmentally friendly, producing near-zero-emissions.
In fact, electric cars also have incredibly low running costs, as you don’t have to pay for fuel. But bear in mind the increase in electricity costs when plugged in at home.
Lastly, if you’re electric car is below £40,000, you’re exempt from both road tax and congestion charges.
The cons of electric cars
But, of course, electric cars have their downsides too. With hybrid cars vs electric cars, the latter falls short when it comes to driving range. At the time of writing, the average electric car won’t get you further than 300 miles on a single charge.
Now, while this is fine for day-to-day life, for long journeys, it can add a lot of unneeded stress and travel time. You’ll need to plan where you’re going to stop to charge your car, and then set time aside for the charging to take place.
And as a final note, electric cars are typically much more expensive to buy, as they’re new to the market, and there aren’t many second-hand models currently available.
Are hybrid or electric cars better for the environment?
Absolutely! Obviously, electric cars are the most environmentally friendly as they produce next-to-no emissions, but hybrids help to offset CO2 output as well, especially in the most CO2 intensive part of driving: breaking and acceleration in traffic.
Hybrids might not be emission-free, but they’re a pivotal step on the way to a totally electric road network.
Should I buy hybrid or electric?
Whether you buy a hybrid or electric car will be up to you and your needs. If you’re sticking to short trips, and can afford the initial price, then an electric car is a good choice. Alternatively, if distance is your focus or your budget is lower, then you can’t go wrong with a hybrid.
Of course, if you want to go electric but don’t have the funds in full, then Zuto is here to help by providing you with electric car finance.
Speak to our expert staff today by getting in touch, or visit the Zuto blog for more in-depth and informative articles like this one.