If you’re preparing to make a car purchase, but are looking for something alternative, there are two types of models you should be looking into; hybrid cars and electric cars. So, let’s do a little compare and contrast, and hopefully you should have a very clear idea of which make to choose.
What Are Hybrid and Electric Cars?
An electric car is a vehicle that is not dependent on a petrol or diesel engine, instead using a rechargeable electrical battery. A hybrid car will also be electrical dependent, using an internal combustion engine to drive the wheels or charge the battery. However, hybrids also have a petrol/diesel engine to fall back on should the electricity supply dwindle.
When considering the purchase of a model, drivers should consider not just how much they will need to pay upfront, but how much they should pay to keep the car running for years to come. The electric cars can demand a hefty upfront cost, however because the engine seldom makes use of the chemicals and moving parts of your typical petrol/diesel engine, it’s more cost effective.
Another area where electric vehicles cut back in the cost department is road tax, with the rates being minimal compared to what you would need to pay when driving a typical motor.
Both engine batteries require charging and can be done so in a relatively straightforward process. However, in the case of an electric car, charging works much the same way as charging a mobile phone; you have to have it plugged into an external power source. However, a hybrid car battery can recharge itself during a journey by reclaiming energy with a process called ‘regenerative braking’. This process captures the vehicle’s momentum and turns it into electricity for the battery. The big downside that both models face is that due to being much smaller than the typical car battery, they won’t charge as fast, which means you may have to consider potential intervals in a long journey where you will need to charge your battery.
Owning to the earlier-mentioned point about charging, electric cars are cost-efficient if you’re making a small daily commute into your local area, but if you’re travelling long distances, you can only drive so far relying on an electricity charged battery. A hybrid, on the other hand, can rely on the petrol elements of its battery, and some models – known as ‘plug-in’ hybrids – can be charged from a plug, allowing you to reach a much longer distance, with some models taking you up to 53 miles on the battery back alone.
There are other factors to consider, such as electric cars are more environmentally friendly due to the lack of exhaust emissions, or that driving a hybrid car means incurring the pronounced weight of a partial petrol engine. But perhaps the most deciding factor to consider is how often do you travel by car and how far you would need to travel, which will help you decide how much money you are prepared to spend for something you may or may not get much use out of. Stick to your own area; electic’s the way to go. If you’re a regular long distance commuter, your best bet is a hybrid car.