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Which Should You Choose? Electric or Hybrid?

When President Joe Biden came into office, one of the major goals that were campaigned for involved the increased development and production of electric vehicles. The reason for this was due to the rise of voices concerning climate change and the need to improve the auto industry. 


According to the official White House website it states, “Since his first day in office, President Biden’s auto vision and leadership has positioned the United States to lead the EV future – to create jobs, make more EVs in America, and fight climate change while advancing environmental justice.


However, this has led to a major debate over whether to go with electric vehicles or choose a hybrid vehicle.


Taking a deeper look into both the benefits and drawbacks of owning a hybrid or an electric vehicle can provide a better understanding of what vehicle may be suited best.


Electric Vehicles


According to Politico, electric vehicles started to become not only popular but also a viable commercial product for consumers when Tesla CEO Elon Musk introduced the Tesla Roadster back in 2008.


Today, automakers around the world are racing to catch up with Tesla and bring out a full slate of electric vehicles. General Motors has set the goal of going all-electric by 2035. Mercedes just leapfrogged to be all-electric for light vehicles by 2030.


Here is some important information regarding the advantages and disadvantages of owning this type of vehicle:


In terms of benefits, the most notable advantage is not producing any CO2 emissions since no engine burns any fuel. Cyber switching wrote that not only do electric cars produce no emissions, but it also decreases noise pollution due to how quiet electric engines run while at the same time getting more energy efficiency in comparison to gas-powered and hybrid vehicles.


For cities, electric cars serve as a great solution to decrease the amount of noise cars make on the streets while at the same time, people from all demographics get more out of the money they paid for in charging up.


Other notable pros to owning an electric car include good performance and power delivery, clean motoring, and less maintenance according to Car And Driver


Due to the fact electric motors have fewer moving parts than combustion engines, electric vehicles require less maintenance relative to their gas- and diesel-powered counterparts.


Plus, electric vehicles have regenerative braking which allows more range and usage of battery life while also requiring less maintenance over regular brakes according to Tires Plus.


Now looking at the drawbacks of electric vehicles, Cyber switching’s main point on disadvantages revolves around the fact that charging takes a longer amount of time in comparison to a gas-powered vehicle. 


The U.S. Department of Transportations goes into detail about this issue with good public charging stations taking at best 20 minutes or up to an hour of waiting for the battery to be fully charged from being empty. And that is only for the best level chargers with lower levels taking almost a day or two to be filled up to max. In comparison, it only takes a few minutes to fuel up a regular gasoline car from empty to full. 


Car And Driver also give some cons on electric cars which include a much higher price tag of buying a new battery pack for the car, a weak infrastructure to support the growing use of electric cars, and the limitations of towing an electric car due to them being much heavier in comparison to the heaviest gas-powered cars.


Due to the sparsity of charging stations throughout the country as well as different standards based on the car company which Qmerit talks about, it can be difficult and annoying for electric vehicle owners to find any public charging station.


Hybrid Vehicles


When Toyota introduced the Prius back in 1997, it opened a new market for hybrid cars to be mass-produced for the populace. 


NPR wrote about this stating, “Initially, the Prius dominated the hybrid market. But today hybrids have expanded, with options in virtually every segment, as Toyota and other automakers continue to invest in them.


Here are some of the pros and cons of owning a hybrid:


Cyber switching points out that hybrids allow city dwellers to rely only on electricity which reduces emissions and hybrids are cheaper cars to buy than electric cars as they have higher price tags. 


It goes on to list that hybrid vehicles are not limited to how much electricity the battery has and can rely on the range of both the battery and gas-powered engine to travel further distances. 


In comparing the longest-range hybrid and electric car using Autobytel and Cars.com lists, the difference ranged around 200 miles with the hybrid having the longer range.


Car And Driver list other advantages like how the average commute is better suited for hybrid cars which range around 28 minutes of driving one way. Most hybrids have batteries that can last that long without needing to use the gas engine.  


This is added with hybrids having more opportunities to fuel up on gas which currently has a much stronger infrastructure. 


And just like electric vehicles, hybrids also have regenerative braking as Tires Plus wrote.


Moving on to the cons, hybrid cars are much more complicated in terms of maintenance and repairs due to using two different energy sources according to both Cyber switching and Car And Driver


This includes that the gas engine does produce emissions in comparison to all-electric vehicles which don’t produce CO2 from the product itself. Additionally, with gas prices currently being high, it can cost more to pay for gas in comparison to the cost of charging an electric car.


In conclusion, both have very useful features and advantages while also having their drawbacks. Depending on a person’s needs and use of a car, either one can be utilized well and efficiently.


While Pew Research shows that Americans are pretty divided in deciding whether to even buy an electric or hybrid car in comparison to a regular gasoline car, these relatively new types of vehicles are showing that there are more options available for an average person to commute.

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