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Hybrid Vs Electric Car: Are You Really Saving Money?

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Between 2019 and 2020, electric car sales rose by over 40%, and this exponential growth shows no signs of slowing down. The primary difference between hybrid and electric cars comes down to how the car is powered. A hybrid is powered by both a gas-powered engine and an electric motor, with separate batteries for each. An electric vehicle uses only a battery and an electric motor to run.

If you’re in the market for a new car and considering a hybrid or electric vehicle, you may wonder which one is best for you. Below, we break down some information to help you in your decision making.


Does It Cost More to Purchase an Electric or Hybrid Car?

The cost of a new vehicle can be dependent on many factors including brand, model type, and which upgraded features you like. But to give you a rough idea on the average new monthly payment, here's what the cost could look like.

Average Car Payment by Fuel Type

Vehicle Type Average Monthly Payment
Diesel $890
Flex Fuel $713
Electric $774
Gas/Electric Hybrid $607
Gasoline $629

Source: Experian State of the Automotive Finance Market Report, Q4 2021


What’s an Electric Car?

Before we get into the specifics of hybrid cars vs electric cars, let’s clarify what differentiates these two types of vehicles. All-electric vehicles, also called EVs, do not contain a traditional internal combustion engine that runs off fuel. Instead, they have an electric motor that runs by using stored energy. This stored energy comes from when the EV gets plugged into its charging equipment. In other words, EVs run on electricity rather than gas.

The most common and popular EV models include Tesla, the Chevrolet Bolt EV, and the Ford Mustang Mach-E. While other models are increasingly being developed by other car makers, Tesla remains the most popular EV currently on the market.


Advantages of Electric Cars

Since electric vehicles don’t operate on gasoline, they don’t have tailpipe emissions, which is one of their biggest appeals for many people who make the switch. Although its important to note that electricity used to charge an electric vehicle may come from a power plant fueled by coal, oil or natural gas.

These days that means you can save a lot of money on gas and with gas prices in some areas over $6 per gallon, that’s certainly something to consider. What may come as a surprise, is that EVs have a reputation for performing in a different manner than traditional vehicles. They’re reported to be quieter, can shift seamlessly, can accelerate at a faster rate, and provide a comfortable ride.


Disadvantages of Electric Cars

One of the most obvious benefits of owning a hybrid is that they’re cheaper than an EV. Also, hybrids aren’t limited in how far they can travel by needing to find charging stations along the route. You can expect most hybrids to go several hundred miles before needing to refuel.

Another problem for EV owners is that recharge points are not always as frequent as needed, so the trip length is limited unless drivers can be sure of finding charging stations at regular intervals along their route. While it hasn’t happened frequently, there is the potential to get stranded due to running out of electricity and not having a charging station nearby. Consider how you’ll be using your vehicle. Will it be primarily to commute? Are there charging stations along your route or where you work?


What’s a Hybrid Car?

A hybrid car gets its power from two sources: an electric motor and an internal combustion engine. The biggest difference between an electric car and a hybrid car is that a hybrid’s battery can’t be plugged in to charge it up. Instead, the battery gets its power from the internal combustion engine when it’s in use. It also derives power from regenerative braking. As you use the car’s brakes, the electric generator will use that to charge the battery of the car.

There are two main types of hybrid cars. A parallel hybrid has two independent power systems, while a series hybrid uses only the gasoline engine to turn a generator. Then, the generator powers either the electric motor or charges the electric battery.

The most common and popular types of hybrid cars include the Honda Insight, Honda Accord Hybrid, Ford Fusion Hybrid, and Toyota Corolla Hybrid.


Advantages of Hybrid Cars

Owning a hybrid can allow you to have some of the benefits of an electric vehicle without the costly price tag. Hybrid vehicles can offer lower emissions than traditional gas fueled cars and have a reputation for higher fuel efficiency so you can get more miles per gallon. Hybrids aren’t limited in how far they can travel by needing to find charging stations along the route. You can expect most hybrids to go several hundred miles before needing to refuel.


Disadvantages of Hybrid Cars

Hybrid cars allow you to switch between two energy sources which can lower emissions while running on electric but when you run out of electric energy it will turn to gas. While hybrids are more available and less expensive to buy, you’ll still need to plan to consider fuel and maintenance costs.


Changing Your Driving Habits

Whether you do decide to purchase a hybrid or electric car, there is more we can all do to lower our negative impacts on the environment. On the topic of driving, it’s important to note that how you drive can be helpful as well. You can replace some of your car trips by using public transportation, carpooling or even riding a bicycle. You can also try reducing the number of times you run out for errands — coming up with the most efficient route to minimize your fuel consumption. When you do need to drive, try to only apply steady pressure as a heavy foot will result in higher fuel consumption.

Hybrid, electric, or not — the less you drive in general, the better it is for the environment.


Hybrid vs Electric Car Models: Which One Is Right for You?

When it comes to hybrid vs electric car models, there are some pretty significant differences between the two. Despite that, determining which type of vehicle is right for you is a personal choice. Now that you know all about hybrid vs electric cars' pros and cons, you can make an informed decision on what kind of car you want to purchase next time you are in the market.

Once you make your decision and buy your new car, it’s important to get it insured before you drive off the dealer’s lot. The last thing you need is for your brand-new investment to end up totaled or damaged in a crash. Wawanesa offers great rates for good drivers. If you’re not already a customer, get a free online quote in just minutes, or call and speak with one of our helpful agents.



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