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Choosing the Right Ride: A Guide to Deciding Between Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid, or Fully Electric Cars
The pursuit of high fuel efficiency and environmental stewardship has led major car manufacturers to consider alternative engines. So, the hybrid cars came along, and then the competition between them and the newer plug-in hybrids and more advanced electric vehicles started.
Today, every engine type has its fans, so the discussions from the Hybrid VS Plug-in Hybrid and Hybrid VS Electric Car series are getting hotter and busier. However, there can be no absolute winner, because everyone has their needs and views on the perfect drive. Well, it’s all more interesting to learn about the differences, strengths, and weaknesses of each engine type. Especially if you plan your first ride in a car like this.
Hybrid Vehicles (HEV) – Pros and Cons
The hybrid vehicle is very similar to the traditional internal combustion engine. A petrol or diesel power plant plays a leading role here, while an electric battery is seen more as an auxiliary element. That is why it is small here, and the power of hybrid engines is usually regarded as a combined indicator.
The accumulator is charged during regenerative braking and discharged during movement and thus helps the internal combustion engine save fuel and make acceleration more efficient. In addition, HEV vehicles can also ride exclusively on electric power, but cover very short distances in this case.
The list of the HEV cars includes:
They are cheaper. If you want to reach a new level of fuel efficiency, but are constrained in funds, a hybrid is what you need.
Convenient for city travel and short journeys. You spend less on gasoline, and the car pleases you with its classy character.
You don’t need to look for a charger for your car. Since the HEV is a self-charging hybrid, it is charged when braking, so that the serviceable unit will never discharge and you cannot worry about it on long trips.
Less maintenance and fuel costs. It is a true benefit for those who know good money counts.
Less eco-friendly. HEVs still use gasoline, and it means that it slightly pollutes the environment, though the emissions are small.
No tax credits. Hybrid vehicles are not exempt from tax credit, and there are no incentives from the government.
Less power. These cars are not as powerful as PHEVs or EVs, mostly because of the technology that seems slightly outdated compared to that.
Plug-In Hybrid (PHEV)
The plug-in hybrid was the next step towards absolute fuel economy. Yes, the gasoline engine is here too, and it is used, but to a lesser extent. This is the key difference between HEVs and PHEVs.
The fact is that the electric power unit of PHEV is more powerful, so the car can drive on this energy much longer. If the first models covered no more than 50 km, and then they needed to connect a petrol or diesel unit, the new specials may have a range of over 200 kilometers!
Discharged PHEV batteries require recharging from an external power supply, which are special devices and charging points. That is why such models are called plug-in.
The up-to-date PHEV cars are:
Jeep Grand Cherokee PHEV (4xe);
Hyundai Tucson PHEV;
Lexus NX 450 H+;
Land Rover Defender P400e.
Low energy and fuel costs. Train yourself to charge at night, then spending on electricity will seem ridiculous to you. Besides, this length of operation of the electric propulsion system allows the use of even less gas!
Less emissions to the atmosphere. If you are driving for short distances, you keep from using the gasoline engine at all, and, accordingly, become more eco-friendly.
No trouble on the long road. Yes, the electric batteries are discharged, but even if you are on the way and there is no point nearby, you stay in motion; the gasoline power unit takes over everything.
The tax credits can be retained! Here, your benefits depend on the size of the batteries you use, but the amounts are considerable sometimes.
Prices. PHEVs are more expensive than hybrid models and traditional cars with internal combustion engines, so the ownership will cost you money!
Need for external power supply. There are more and more charging points on the city streets, but you will not always be able to do them alone, as the full PHEV charging takes at least a couple of hours. Will have to look for the opportunity to install equipment near the house, but it is not available to everyone.
Questionable savings with less attention to the batteries. If you often travel long distances or forget about charging too often, the gasoline engine takes over, which affects both the costs and the environment.
Electric Cars (EVs)
This is exactly what you expected! These models do not have gasoline or electric powertrains at all, so you can completely forget about spendings on gasoline and other consumables such as oils and filters.
You will be impressed by the power and performance of modern electric cars, as they have a power range of up to 600 and even 700 km. So, you can drive an impressive distance and move from one city to another, and if facilities allow, it will give you even more confidence.
On the other hand, it’s this infrastructure that is a fly in the ointment. In the electric car VS hybrids (both HEV and PHEV) battle the second take over as the traditional internal combustion engine becomes the plan B to some extent. You have no chance to move on if your EV battery is discharged, so the availability of power sources nearby becomes a priority issue. However, fans of electric cars are willing to put up with this inconvenience for many advantages.
So, what are the most popular electric cars today?
Hyundai Ioniq Electric;
Audi Q6 e-tron;
Cadillac Escalade Electric;
Chevrolet Blazer EV;
GMC Electric Truck;
Low expenses. You spend most of your money on cheaper electricity, so your budget doesn’t suffer. Besides, you can get retain tax credits on your car, which will reduce your further costs as well.
More satisfying maintenance costs. EVs components and assemblies are easier to change and fix, so that the service will be an item of minimal expenses.
Zero emissions. Electric cars do not contain gasoline powertrains, so we can talk about their absolute environmental friendliness.
Comfortable operation of the engine. EVs are quieter and special control settings ensure pleasure for every kilometer traveled.
Prices. Electric cars are still expensive, so the admires have to think twice before buying or financing this kind of vehicle.
An urgent need for a charging station. Your trip is at risk without timely charging, so this issue will have to be worked out as well.
Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid, or Electric Car – What to Choose?
As you can see from the above, each vehicle type has its pros and cons. Thus, when choosing a car for your impeccable drive, you should focus on certain factors. And now, we will tell you what criteria to rely on:
Your lifestyle and driving. If country trips and long distances take a long time, consider HEV or at least PHEV. Electric cars are more profitable if you move exclusively around the city, and short trips happen more often than long journeys.
Availability of necessary infrastructure and possibility to install charging equipment. Obviously, low charging availability will not let you enjoy driving an electric car, while there are no problems in a city with many charging points. However, if you are afraid of being left without wheels, a hybrid is a more reasonable option.
Attitude to the environment. An EV is the only solution if you are a passionate environmentalist. Any hybrid will suffice to moderate supporters.
Your financial status. Hybrids are cheaper than electric cars. However, if you dream of experiencing an EV, leasing will be a great option.
So, there are no winners or losers when comparing HEV VS EV VS PHEV, as all of them are quite good. Feel free to turn for professional assistance if you need some appropriate advice.