Key Differences Between Hybrid And Electric Cars

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Key Differences Between Hybrid And Electric Cars

Hybrid and electric cars are more popular than ever, but they are still new enough that many people don't know all the details about them. Both are marketed as eco-friendly and have several notable features, which could be a pro or con to you.

These two types of vehicles may not seem so different from each other, but there are some subtle distinctions that can make a huge impact on your driving experience.

In this article, we will take a look at the key differences between hybrid and electric cars.

Power Source

Electric vehicles (EVs) run exclusively on electric motors connected to rechargeable battery packs. There's no traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) at all, which means fewer moving parts in these vehicles. They're also lighter than hybrids and faster off the line when accelerating.

On the other hand, in a hybrid car, there is both an internal combustion engine and an electric motor. The gas engine usually handles the heavy lifting while the electric motor supports it from time to time, which results in better fuel economy. The battery of a conventional hybrid car can only be charged through regenerative braking — a process of recovering some energy each time the brake pedal is applied.

It is also worth mentioning that the regular hybrid car has several variants, and the most notable among them is the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). You can charge their batteries via a wall socket at home or an electric charging station. When its battery power runs out, the car will then switch to using gas.

Upfront Cost

The upfront cost is one of the main differences between hybrid and electric cars. Generally, an electric car costs more than a hybrid car by a big margin. You can expect to pay anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000 (or more) for a new model of an EV. Meanwhile, you'll find that most hybrids on the market cost much less — usually ranging from $25,000 to $35,000.

Make sure to do your research first before you make any purchases. Spending a lot of money on a car that doesn't suit your needs can set you back financially and emotionally for quite some time.


An electric vehicle's range is usually between 200 – 500 miles on a single charge, depending on the car model and how you drive it. The size and weight of the vehicle can also play a role in its overall range as well, but basically, an EV with a large battery pack can have a greater range than an EV with a smaller one.

PHEVs can go up to 10 – 50 miles on a single charge before switching to gas. When a plug-in hybrid car's electric power is depleted, the internal combustion engine takes over and provides an additional 300 or so miles. Just like with electric vehicles, the range of hybrid cars varies on the type and how it's driven.

Environmental Impact

When it comes to the environment, electric vehicles have a clear advantage over hybrid cars.

EVs have no exhaust pipe emissions and thus have little impact on air quality. This is partly why they are so quiet compared to hybrid vehicles, which still use combustion engines that can be loud when driving. Also, hybrid cars still emit pollution from their exhausts, albeit at a lower rate than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles.

Recharging And Refueling

Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles can be refueled at gas stations and charged at EV charging sites since they contain a gas engine and an electric motor. Regular hybrid cars, though, can only be filled up at gas stations since their batteries are only recharged through regenerative braking.

With an electric car, you can charge your vehicle at home or a charging station. If you plan to go on long road trips, you may want to check the routes first to see if there are any EV charging stations, as you wouldn't want your car to run out of juice in the middle of the road.

Maintenance And Repair Cost

EVs can be much cheaper to maintain since they have fewer moving parts than conventional vehicles and hybrid cars. This means that there are fewer opportunities for things to go wrong. Electric cars don't need emission tests, too, since they don't produce any hazardous gases at all. With an electric vehicle, you no longer need to change oil, gaskets, or spark plugs either — this saves you a good amount of money!

However, it's worth noting that if something breaks in an EV for some reason, it could cost an arm and a leg because its materials and labor are expensive.

On the other hand, hybrid cars tend to cost more to maintain than standard gas-powered vehicles and EVs because they have the components of a gas engine and an electric motor. As such, hybrid owners typically pay more for maintenance than owners who drive regular internal combustion engines or electric cars.


So there you go, electric cars vs. hybrid cars! In a nutshell, EVs are all about reducing the reliance on fossil fuel and are nice options for anyone who wants to minimize their carbon footprint, save money on gas, and get around town easily. Just make sure you do your research before making any final decisions so you get the correct type of car that fits your lifestyle.

If you're keen to drive a new electric car, you can find some of the best EVs at Audi Annapolis in Baltimore, MD. You can check them out here or by visiting us at our dealership.