With the rise in popularity of clean, renewable energy, many people are looking at the differences between electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles. Lately, almost every car manufacturer is making a hybrid or electric option. There are pros and cons to each of these type of vehicles, so it is important to learn more about each of them.

Electric Vehicles versus Hybrid Vehicles: A Comparison

Power Source

Electric cars are fully battery-powered while hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are gas-powered with a smaller battery. The braking process of the car actually recharges the battery. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) are another type of vehicle. These are HEV’s, but have a larger battery. This battery can be charged like a fully electric vehicle. This can be done at a charging station or any plug that would work with your car.

Refuel and Recharge Times

One difference of electric vehicles and hybrid vehicles is refueling or recharging time. Since HEV use fuel as their primary source of energy, the time to get a full range of travel takes far less time than charging an electric vehicle. It would just require going to a gas station and taking a few minutes to refuel the car. The battery recharges with energy while you’re driving. Plug-in HEV refuel with gas in the same way. However, it may take a plug-in hybrid electric up to several hours to fully recharge the battery. Of course this depends on the battery size and power source.

Depending on the electric vehicle model, a full charge can take between 30 to 90 minutes on a fast charging network. Tesla’s Supercharging network provides very fast charging speeds for Tesla drivers. These charging times certainly make a road trip take more time. However, most charging stations (and all Superchargers) are in a place where you can get some food and relax. You do want to keep that in mind if you plan on going on long road trips with the EV, since charging stops will add time to your trip.

Less Maintenance

There is a big difference when looking at the maintenance for electric vehicles versus hybrid vehicles. Electric vehicles cost less to maintain than a hybrid vehicle. This is primarily due to the engine. An electric vehicle’s engine has around 20 moving parts. However, there are close to 2,000 parts for a hybrid’s engine. Hybrid cars have an internal combustion engine in them. Therefore, they still require the same typical maintenance that a normal engine vehicle would need. This includes oil and transmission fluid changes, as well as timing belt fixes.

While there are some similarities between electric and hybrid automobiles, there are also many differences. HEVs and PHEVs also have many areas they overlap with fully gas cars. If you are thinking about getting a car that would be better for the environment, these are all things to think about. I would recommend test driving all three kinds of cars so that you can make a decision about what is best for you.