Hybrid Cars Or Electric Cars: Which One Is Better For You? Comparison Of Vehicle Power Source At A Glance 2021


If you are trying to decide whether to pick a hybrid or electric car, it may pay to slow down and compare them side-by-side.  There are pros and cons to every vehicle.  Although the environmental impact may be your first concern, you will also want to consider the financial impact as well.

Environment

If the environment is your number one priority, you will want an all-electric vehicle.   The only other vehicles with zero emissions are natural gas or hydrogen prototypes.  When shopping, be aware that there are only a handful of true all-electric cars.  Electric models include the Nissan Leaf and the new Ford Focus Electric.

Price

Electric car prices may approach $40,000. The price may be offset by a tax credit and by a savings of $1,500 or more on fuel.  For many, the all-electric price is still too high, especially for a car that can’t make long trips easily. For a better price and better selection, many green consumers opt for a hybrid.

Compared to electric, these offer more horsepower and an extensive driving range. Compared to regular cars, hybrids offer low emissions and excellent fuel economy. Fuel savings on a hybrid quickly add up, helping these cars pay back their owners.

Driving Range

The Nissan Leaf and the Ford Focus EV can go about 100 miles on a single charge. The 66-horsepower Mitsubishi iMiev can go up to 62 miles on a charge.  Clearly these cars are designed for the average commute to and from work, but they would not function well for long distance trips. 

By contast, true hybrid vehicles have longer driving ranges than comparable vehicles because they are more fuel-efficient.

Plug-in vehicles with gas engines offer an extended range. The Chevy Volt can go for up to 40 miles on a charge.  Then its unique gasoline engine powers the battery for up to 300 miles more. 

The Prius Plug-In has a hybrid’s long distance range, but it uses its electric power to provide gas-free driving for up to 11 miles.

Check The Fine Print

When looking for a hybrid, remember that some manufacturers use hybrid technology to increase horsepower.  These so-called hybrids may still have poor fuel economy, and they may not reduce the vehicle’s carbon footprint.

Horsepower And Torque

Drivers will find that electric cars usually offer low horsepower.   The Leaf only offers 104 hp, but it does manage 187 lb-ft of torque.   Higher torque can compensate for lower horsepower by providing the acceleration needed for the highway.

The 2013 Ford Focus EV is projected to offer 143 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque.  If the projected horsepower is accurate, the Ford Focus EV will be the first electric car to catch up with hybrids such as the standard Prius. Hybrid cars also have lower horsepower than their counterparts. 

At present, this is the sacrifice that consumers must make when choosing a low emissions vehicle with good fuel economy. As the technology advances over the next few years, hopefully horsepower and torque will improve.

Tax Incentives

Tax incentives on hybrids such as the standard Prius have expired.  Electric car tax credits include $7,500 for the Volt, Leaf and Focus EV.  The C-Max Energi earns a $3,751 tax credit. The Prius Plug-In earns a $2,500 tax credit.

Whether you choose an all-electric or true hybrid car, you can be sure that reducing your global footprint is a great move.

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