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What's the between Electric and Hybrid Cars?

What's the between Electric and Hybrid Cars?

There's no doubt that electric is the future of driving, with most every manufacturer converting their ranges to electric vehicle (EV) technology over the next few years. But not all EVs are the same. There are two main groups of vehicles using some form of electric tech in their powertrains, namely hybrids and pure electrics. What's the difference between the two? Read on to find out.

 

Key Features of Electric Cars

 

Electric cars run purely on power stored in their large batteries, and once the juice runs out they'll need to be charged. Today's models can charge much more quickly than older EVs, but it's still not as easy as stopping at a gas station, especially as in some areas charging stations are few and far between.

 

However, electric cars create no emissions as you drive, and they are often significantly more powerful than regular gas or diesel vehicles.

 

Key Features of Hybrid Cars

 

Hybrid cars take a mixed approach. A large proportion of their power still comes from regular fuel, but the gas engine is paired with at least one electric motor which takes up some of the load. This approach lowers fuel consumption by around a third in most cases.

 

What Are Plugin Hybrids?

 

Basic hybrids charge their battery using power from the gas engine, usually converting motion into electric charge when the brakes are pressed. More modern and advanced hybrids can also be plugged into an electrical supply, charging the battery directly. These plugin hybrids are much more efficient, use even less fuel, and can often be driven in all-electric mode for up to 50km.

 

Summary: The Difference Between Electric and Hybrid Cars

 

The basic takeaway is that electric cars drive completely on electric power, and therefore emit zero carbon or other pollutants as they drive. However, they rely on having access to a charging facility once the battery power starts to run out, and this isn't always straightforward.

 

A hybrid car still uses gas or diesel for at least some of its power, with all the environmental impacts that involves. But nonetheless, hybrid cars use less fuel than regular cars, with lower emissions and costs. And what's more, most can be used in emission-free electric mode at least some of the time, with the gas engine providing insurance against running out of juice.

 

It's certain that full electric cars will dominate in the future. But until charging facilities are as convenient and widespread as today's filling stations, for many people a hybrid is a sensible compromise.

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