Hybrid vs Electric

Hybrid Vehicles (PHEV) vs Electric Vehicles (BEV)

Pollution from transport is one of the most pressing issues in the world today. It is estimated that cars and lorries contribute to 27% of climate-altering emissions in the UK.

This pollution is what spurned a lot of manufacturers to start looking towards greener solutions. Manufacturers, like Renault and Nissan, both created a new solely electric model to add to their range with the Zoe and Leaf respectively. A lot of manufacturers also now offer a hybrid engine choice for some of their cars in addition to the usual petrol and diesel engines.

But which is more preferable? Hybrid or Electric?

Renault Zoe, Electric Car

What is the Difference between hybrid and electric cars?

Hyundai Kona - Electric Vehicle. Hybrid vs Electric

There are three types of vehicles currently in use in the world: Internal Combustion Engine Vehicles (ICE), Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) and Battery Electric Vehicles (BEV).

  • An ICE is your typical petrol or diesel engine. If you want to know which of these choices would be right for you why not click here to explore our other blog on the subject. The car solely relies on the combustion of petrol or diesel fuel to power itself.
  • A PHEV is your hybrid vehicle that can operate using both electricity and fuel as a power source. It has both an ICE and an electric battery that ‘plugs in’ to the power grid to charge itself. Check out our petrol hybrid range here.
  • A BEV is your fully electric vehicle engine. They produce zero tailpipe emissions and have neither an ICE nor utilize any type of liquid fuel. It is charged by plugging into the electric grid directly. Check out our range of electric vehicle here.

Both PHEVs and BEVs offer an alternative to petrol/diesel powered cars and can reduce operating costs and emissions. However, there are certain advantages to hybrid cars compared to electric cars and vice versa.

Hybrid vs Electric - Comparison:

Quick Comparison: Hybrid vs Electric Cars

Hybrid Electric
Low Running Costs Reduced Running Costs
Faster Charging Times Slow Electric Charge Time
Zero Tailpipe Emissions Less Tailpipe Emissions
Longer Range For Electric Battery Longer Range In One Trip
Reduced Maintenance Issues More Maintenance Issues

Fuel Costs:

EVs tend to make less of an impact on your bank account but depending on your driving style a hybrid vehicle can be equally saving and put less pressure on you to get to a charge point before the battery dies. For electric vehicles, you add to your home electricity bill (if you have a home-charging station) or top-up at a charging station around the area. In general, the prices for electricity (both at home or out and about) are lower than petrol/diesel prices on a per-mile basis and tend to remain a similar price throughout the year.

Although hybrid vehicles have an electric battery, it is smaller than the battery in an EV and can only support a limited range in electric driving. No worries there as the hybrid can still use its petrol/diesel engine to fulfill its journey but this increases the fuel costs for the vehicle. A hybrid’s fuel cost savings come from a driver who only has a short daily commute that the electric battery can cover.

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The battery is much more likely to run out of charge in an electric vehicle than to run out of charge and fuel in a hybrid. This is due to petrol stations being much more common along the roads than EV charging stations. This panic tends to pull some eco drivers towards getting a hybrid vehicle rather than fully electric. But nowadays electric cars are getting more and more range for one charge.

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Charging Times:

The batteries on the two cars have a large difference in charging times. The batteries of pure electric vehicles can usually take higher rates of charge and can often have a rapid charge feature. Hybrid charging rates are usually much slower when compared to electric with up to 2 to 4 more hours required to get fully charged. These depend on the power rating of the charger and the size of the battery pack.

Emissions:

EVs have absolutely zero tailpipe emissions but that does not mean that they do not produce emissions at all. The electricity that is used to power their battery comes from both renewable and non-renewable energy sources.  The emissions produced from fossils fuels also count towards the emissions produced by the EV.

The emissions produced by hybrids are low when compared to ICEs, but the efficiency of the vehicle depends on how often it is charged. The more it is charged the better and running them on fuel can also be inefficient as hybrids are usually a heavier car than ICEs.

Range:

Range seems to be a big issue when it comes to some driver perceptions of electric vehicles, but these cars have come a long way since they first started being made. Nowadays BEVs can have a range of up to 325 miles roughly with an average of 194 miles in a single charge. The average car journey is around 21 miles, so a large range isn’t necessarily key when it comes to an eco-friendly car.

A hybrid car, due to its smaller battery, can only go up to about 40 miles on an electric battery but for your smaller commute this works just fine. The added option of using the petrol engine though means that it can cope with longer journeys as well without having to worry about any charging points along the way.

Maintenance Costs:

A hybrid vehicle can run into a lot of the same maintenance issues that petrol and diesel engines experience. The cost of replacing the belt, engine oil, transmission fluid or coolant etc can build up over time (although not as much as ICEs) and increase the cost of maintaining your vehicle.

EVs avoid the problems that combustion engines have but they are not exempt from all car maintenance requirements like tire changes, insurance plans, and structural damage. Both hybrid and electric vehicles though can be at the risk of battery degradation. The solution to this can end up costing a lot of money.

Overall, hybrids may not cost as much to maintain as ICEs, they still will cost more than electric vehicle.  

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Conclusion - Hybrid or Electric?

Through everything we have compared, electric vehicles have triumphed in most of them. There are some exceptional benefits to electric vehicles in terms of saving you money. However, the benefits of a hybrid vehicle really depend on the driver’s lifestyle. If you have short daily commute but like taking the occasional long road trip, the hybrid may be the more suitable choice.

Wanting to lease a car? Why not check out our range of offers with a selection of ICEs, PHEVs and BEVs to choose from?