Hybrid vs Electric Car: What Are the Differences?


There were about 16.5 million electric vehicles on the road globally in 2021. This is a significant increase from the 120,000 electric vehicles sold in 2012. With more of these cars on the road, terms get thrown around and used interchangeably, which only confuses matters more.

Let’s consider hybrid vs. electric cars and determine what these terms mean.

What Is a Hybrid Car?

The term hybrid traditionally referred to nature, where an offspring was the product of two different species or varieties. For example, a mule is a hybrid of a horse and a donkey. The automotive industry adopted this term to refer to vehicles that use two different types of power.

Modern hybrid cars typically use a combination of gasoline and electricity to power them. Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) and Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) are two types of hybrid cars.

A PHEV car has a port where you can plug it in to charge the battery. An HEV car charges the battery through regenerative braking.

What Is an Electric Car?

There are two types of purely electric vehicles on the road. The first is an all-electric, also known as an EV or BEV. They do not use gasoline and instead have a large battery.

The second type of electric vehicle is a fuel cell, also called FCEV. Several fuel cells throughout the car work together to power the vehicle. The cells combine hydrogen gas and oxygen to produce electricity.

What’s the Difference Between Hybrid and Electric Cars?

Besides the noticeable difference between the different sources of power, there are several other differences between hybrid and electric vehicles. Hybrid vehicles have an advantage over electric cars because they also use gasoline. This means there’s less risk of getting stuck on the side of the road because you maxed out the vehicle’s range.

The more reliant the vehicle is on electricity, the more expensive the car will be. This means that electric vehicles are more expensive to purchase than hybrids.

Finally, electric vehicles produce fewer emissions than hybrid vehicles because there is no combustion engine to produce the fumes.

How Are Hybrid and Electric Vehicles Similar?

Both vehicles use a battery or fuel cells for power. These present a safety risk because they are flammable. You can learn more about the fire risks of these vehicles on this website.

Additionally, both car types are more expensive to purchase than gasoline or diesel-powered vehicles. However, they will save you money in the long run by not having to purchase gas.

Time to Choose: Hybrid vs. Electric Car

Now that you understand the difference between hybrid vs. electric cars, you are ready to decide which is right for you. If you need to drive long distances, consider a hybrid that can go the distance on both battery and gas.

On the other hand, if you are looking to reduce your emissions and become free from gasoline, then an electric vehicle is the better option.

Check out our other automotive articles for more helpful guidance on caring for your hybrid or electric vehicle.