Electric Cars vs Hybrids – Which one should you get?

Both electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles will improve your carbon footprint and reduce fuel consumption. However, you should consider which type of vehicle suits your driving habits when choosing a new car. Follow our comparison of electric and hybrid cars below.


Fuel Efficiency:

Both electric cars and hybrids are very efficient. However, this is a category where electric cars excel. Fully electric vehicles use no fossil fuel directly, making them very cheap to run and great for the environment. Just remember to charge them overnight. The power bills that come with an electric car roughly equate to paying 30 cents per litre (about 1/6 of how much a petrol vehicle costs).

Fuel Capacity:

Although electric cars are incredibly fuel efficient, their low power capacity holds them back. The limited amount of energy an affordable (up to say $50,000) fully electric vehicle can hold means that you will have to tailor your trips around the remaining amount of charge your vehicle has.

A hybrid vehicle switches to petrol fuel once its battery is depleted, meaning you can drive it long distances when necessary. A full charge of an electric vehicle provides more than enough energy for short trips around your city. However, you would be pushing the limits of your battery if you drive more than say 100 km (return) between towns every day.

Emissions:

Since it uses no fuel at all, the electric car is the clear winner here. Although hybrids are much more eco-friendly than your standard petrol vehicle, they still produce emissions through their exhaust system due to their petrol use.

If helping the environment is of utmost importance to you, we recommend an electric vehicle.

Another option if you can afford it is to have an electric vehicle such as the Nissan Leaf for commuting to work and short trips, and a hybrid vehicle for longer trips. This often works well if you are a two car family, and can balance out your commuting needs.

Reliability:

Both vehicle types have their strengths and weaknesses when it comes to reliability. Hybrid vehicles offer two sources of power, meaning that they are much more reliable for extended use in terms of the distance they can travel. It also means that if the vehicle runs out of both fuel and electricity, it can easily be refilled with standard petrol. The hybrid’s weakness in reliability is reflected in its maintenance costs. Since the vehicle has two different power sources, it has significantly more moving parts, meaning things to service.

On the other hand, electric cars have very little moving parts due to there being no fuel system. This means that you should have less costs and concerns about parts breaking down and fewer maintenance costs. The problem with electric cars though is that if they run out of power in a location without a charging source, it will be difficult to get your car running again. The limited range of an electric vehicle may restrict you from driving certain distances because the charge is not high enough. You will then have to wait a reasonable period of time until the car reaches a sufficient level of power to go to your next destination (or home).

Verdict:

In conclusion, both electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles have their pros and cons. It is up to the driver to decide which type of vehicle suits them best based on their driving habits. For drivers who live out of town or travel long distances every day, a hybrid may provide them with a more reliable experience while also cutting down their emissions. For drivers who take short distance trips around their city, or commute under 100 km per day, then an electric car will make much more sense.

You may also find that if you are a two car family, one of each may be ideal for you.


 

One downside of owning an electric vehicle or hybrid is the limited servicing options available. Fortunately, Grimmer Motors now offers servicing and repairs for electric and hybrid vehicles. We have been investing in diagnostic tools and equipment for both types of vehicles, meaning that as more people make the switch to EVs/hybrids, we will be able to provide reliable servicing options.

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Matthew O'Connor

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