What’s the difference between electric and hybrid cars?

October 11, 2019

Aký je teda medzi elektromobilmi a hybridmi rozdiel?

Who would have thought that we at Bolt would start talking about electricity and cars? In this article, we’ll cover the differences between electric and hybrid cars. And also expose some serious false statement most popular myths related to this topic. Interested? Good, let’s go!

So, what’s the difference between electric and hybrid cars?

There isn’t a big difference between electric and hybrid cars. At the same time, they’re not completely similar either. Confusing, right? Actually, it all makes perfect sense.

There are three types of electrical vehicles:

  • Fully electric vehicles
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
  • Extended-range electric vehicles

Now to the differences between them.

For fully electric vehicles, the content matches the name. They run solely on their electric motor and have a rechargeable battery built into the system. A fully electric vehicle is perfect for daily commuting and the occasional longer trip. For recharging, you can plug it into the same electrical socket you use to charge your smartphone. Neat!

The downside? When you run out of juice, you run out of juice. That’s it. This means that you could literally get stuck in traffic or deserted on a road if you don’t plan your trips through.

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have a rechargeable battery in them, but there’s a fuel tank for back-up as well. So, when extra power is needed, the car will start running on a standard petrol engine. A plug-in hybrid is perfect for drivers who drive very long distances regularly or for work.

There’s one problem though – you are carrying two technologies at all times. Squeezing in the battery and a fuel tank to a small space means that they have a very limited size. This, of course, provides a small electric range and less impressive electric motor performance. So, if you’re considering a plug-in hybrid, you will most likely be more comfortable living with an extended-range electric vehicle.

What's the difference between electric and hybrid cars?

An extended-range electric vehicle is like a plug-in, but it doesn’t have a big petrol engine built into it to keep you going for longer distances. Instead, there’s a small fuel-powered generator to top up the batteries when needed.

Sounds nice, but where’s the hook? You’re carrying the weight of the backup engine at all times and this decreases the efficiency of the vehicle and reduces the electric-only range. Plus, as with plug-ins, everything that has petrol pumping through it needs regular servicing.

So, there you have it — the main difference between electric and hybrid cars in a very short and sweet manner. You’re welcome!

So, should I choose a hybrid or a fully electric car?

To be fair, it really comes down to your own preferences.

Going fully electric is surely good for our environment and your wallet. But, if you’re not totally convinced yet, or perhaps you’re only half-way through your “becoming green” journey, a hybrid will do the trick.

And don’t listen to those who compare hybrids with nicotine patches, most probably they’re driving a 4×4 diesel-powered monster themselves. The future is electric.

Three key things to remember

  • There are differences between electric cars and hybrids. There are three types of electric vehicles: the fully electric ones, plug-in hybrids and extended-range hybrids. You can read more about the differences at the beginning of this article.
  • Don’t believe all the negativity you hear about electric cars. There are many myths going around when it comes to electric cars. Some say that they are slow, some are sure that they are unsafe. We debunked the most popular ones, go check them out.
  • The choice is yours. Either hybrid or fully electrical, you are the one making the decision. Think it through and choose the most optimal one for yourself. When buying, be sure to check if your government also supports going green — you might get some support sharing the costs.

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