Consumers interested in purchasing a fuel-efficient car often consider either an electric vehicle or hybrid. But what’s the difference? And what are the pros and cons of each?
The Difference Between Hybrids and EVs
Prior to examining the differences, let’s take a deeper dive into the basics. We’ve all seen the row of charging stations at grocery stores. They exist because hybrids need to be plugged in to charge. Hybrids use two powertrains, one that uses an electric motor, and another that features a standard gas engine. Hybrid electric engines generally run 30 to 40 miles before becoming depleted and switching over to gas.
Electric vehicles, or EVs, run exclusively on electric power. That means they use zero gasoline. That might sound like a welcome change for your finances, but it can be inconvenient when they become depleted because there’s no back-up engine. The silver lining is they have more space for batteries because of the lack of a gasoline engine. This means an electric vehicle can travel longer distances on electricity only.
Advantages and Disadvantages to Ownership
When it’s time to make a decision between an electric vehicle and a hybrid, it’s helpful to examine the features of both while considering how those characteristics fit in with your personal driving habits.
Many EV enthusiasts are interested in things like saving money and reducing their carbon footprint. Reasons often cited for a preference for electric vehicles include:
- Pollution reduction
- No need to buy gas
- Low cost of operation
- Longer range
Some folks feel that there is nothing comparable to avoiding the gas pump, yet EVs have some drawbacks when you take into account that traveling long distances without stopping to recharge the battery is impossible with an electric vehicle. If your trip is longer than sixty or seventy miles, you are out of luck and are forced to find a charging station as soon as possible.
There always is an exception to every rule and in this case, that exception is the Tesla Model S, which can go up to 150 miles before it needs a charge.
The unquestionable advantage of any hybrid is its range or ability to travel long distances without needing to be charged. Some favorite features hybrid drivers cite are:
- The ability to take longer trips
- Fuel efficiency for short trips
- Familiarity in that hybrids are not that different from regular cars
On the downside, hybrid owners are still subject to fluctuating gas prices. In addition, there still aren’t that many car models on the market to choose from, so some drivers feel they’ve been pigeonholed into choosing a vehicle they might not want otherwise. The Prius and Chevrolet Volt are popular hybrid models.
Taxes and Insurance
Both EV and hybrid owners pay less in taxes. The federal government provides tax rebates and some states offer tax credits. As far as insurance goes, rates tend to be the same or similar. There has been at least one notable accident allegedly caused by the driverless feature. It’s, of course, impossible to determine if autopilot will be the reason for more serious wrecks in the future.
If you’re hurt in an accident with an electric vehicle or hybrid with autopilot engaged, don’t try to negotiate with the other driver. A personal injury lawyer should be your first phone call. Laws surrounding these cars are rapidly evolving, so don’t hesitate to reach out for legal help if you’re in a wreck involving one.