If you’re in the market for a new car, you may be considering an energy efficient option, especially if you have a long daily commute. The eco-friendly cars that are on the market aren’t just good for the environment, but they can also help you save money by using less fuel—or no gas at all. If you’re just beginning to explore the idea of buying an energy efficient car, you may be torn between an electric car and a hybrid car. One is not necessarily better than the other, and it’s just about finding what option works best for you by comparing the different features. The following are some differences and similarities to consider as you shop around:
Electric cars don’t use gasoline at all, and you simply plug them in and charge them at a special charging station. Although many drivers can get just what they need on a full charge (drivers can expect to usually get anywhere from 60 to 80 miles out of a full charge) for others, this might not be enough. If you have to drive a long distance, you’ll need to worry about finding a charging station at some point, although more and more cities are installing plenty of electric car charging stations. But if a full charge is more than you’ll ever need for your daily commute, an electric car can be a good option. And because they don’t use gas, they are the most energy efficient vehicles out there, making them an appealing option for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint as much as possible.
A conventional hybrid vehicle is just like it sounds—a cross between an electric motor and standard gasoline engine. Although you can’t charge a hybrid vehicle the same way you would charge an electric car, a hybrid car draws power from internal kinetic energy. As such, hybrid car drivers don’t need to fill up at the gas pump nearly as often, and some hybrid vehicles make it possible for drivers to switch off the gasoline engine completely.
A compromise between the two
Similarly to electric cars, certain hybrid car models known as PHEVs, or plug-in hybrid vehicles, give drivers the option to plug in their cars and charge them. Although this can be a happy medium for those looking to save the most on gas, but without opting for a fully electric vehicle, these types of hybrids often aren’t optimal for those who drive a lot. On average, drivers with PHEVs will drive less than 40 miles each day. The average PHEV will run on electric power, on average, between 21 and 38 miles before the gasoline motor kicks in.
Making a decision
It can be hard to decide between an electric car or a hybrid car, but also consider the pros and cons that individual models can offer. For example, some will offer more mileage per electric charge. You’ll also want to test drive the different options and compare vehicle prices. Remember to also take gas costs into consideration. You may decide to avoid a costlier electric car option, but if you’re looking to save money overall, that might end up being the cheaper choice in the end because you won’t need to pay for gas.
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Nothing above is meant to provide financial, tax, or legal advice. You should meet with appropriate professionals for such services.