These days, we’re all a bit more conscious of our environmental footprint. While we can’t all move off-grid and live off the land, we can make smarter decisions in our everyday habits. A great number of motorists are torn by this very notion when selecting their next set of wheels – hybrid or electric car? Whether you’re looking for greener transportation or a future-proof vehicle, here is a detailed look at the advantages and drawbacks of hybrid and electric vehicles.
Hybrid or electric cars
The greener car revolution is revving up Britain, and the polluting oil-powered vehicles are being replaced by eco-friendly electric and hybrid models. Electric and semi-electric cars can still be relatively expensive to buy, but thanks to government grants, road tax breaks, low running costs and cheaper models entering the market, they are becoming more accessible for every motorist.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are powered solely by electricity, instead of relying on petrol or diesel. They contain an electric battery pack that provides power to run all of the vehicle’s onboard electronics, including the motor, that needs to be recharged regularly. No different to how you would charge a smartphone or laptop! Electric cars can either be 100 percent electric or combined with a traditional gas-powered engine to form a hybrid car.
Hybrid cars, in theory, give you the low emissions and smooth power delivery of an electric car along with the long-distance abilities of a traditional petrol or diesel car.
- Hybrid vehicles use a combination of electricity and petrol/diesel for power. In turn, the hybrid emits less pollution than a traditional car, earning itself great green credentials.
- Hybrid systems use a process called regenerative braking. Instead of wasting braking energy like most vehicles, the hybrid captures it and then feeds it back into the battery. This system increases the electric motor’s charge which also helps it to consume less fuel, especially when driving around town where you use the brakes frequently.
- Because a hybrid electric car is so efficient, you have less dependence on petrol station stops. In turn, it reduces your need for oil, which helps to lower the demand and dependency for petrol pumps.
- If you haven’t driven a hybrid vehicle before, chances are you’re in for a real shock the first few times you start it. It is incredibly quiet, and you would be forgiven for not realising the car was on.
- Because hybrid vehicles have a dual engine and advanced technology, it can be challenging for mechanics to repair these vehicles confidently. You may need to find a mechanic with the relevant expertise.
- Hybrid vehicles run on twin-powered engines, which means that the diesel or petrol engine is considerably smaller than a traditional internal combustion engine in an oil-powered car. Generally, this means that hybrids are better suited to city driving rather than motorway or rural driving.
- Most hybrids are built for economy, not speed. Total output and acceleration of hybrids seem to fall behind oil-only vehicles.
- Electric vehicles benefit the environment the most since they generate zero emissions directly. The electrical system powers the motor that turns the wheels, as well as all the associated electrical items like lights and air conditioning. This scores big points in terms of benefits to the environment. If that electricity is generated renewably, they have the potential to run without fossil fuels.
- Motorists of electric cars get to save time and money at the pump. If you charge the vehicle at home, then you get to bypass the fuel station altogether, saving you precious time.
- Most electric cars are tax free, which means you get to save, on average, £140 annually when compared with a petrol or diesel car.
- Generally, electric cars have lower maintenance costs because there are fewer moving parts. They don’t need oil changes and other service items. This longevity helps motorists keep traveling for longer over the years.
- One of the largest drawbacks of electric cars is their mileage range. Most electric vehicles run only for around 100 miles on a charge, depending on the vehicle, speed and other variables. An exception to this rule would be the Tesla Model S, which can hold around 150 miles per charge. Those motorists with longer commutes may want to consider hybrids.
- Nationwide, there are over 30,000 charging points in the UK. While the electric car’s sat-nav will find a charging point for you, most are found in urban areas. There is a cost to use these charging points, too.
- If you’re driving across the country and need to charge the car, you may want to grab a book and some food. The charging time is nowhere near as quick as filling the car up with petrol. The time depends on the make and model, as well as how powerful the charger is. Home wall chargers start at around £500 and will give you between 15 and 30 miles’ charge per hour.
Financing your next EV
A large incentive to purchase a fully electric vehicle or a hybrid is the government grant. The gov.uk website provides full comprehensive information on this, but, in short, you can get a grant towards the cost of a new electric car, though conditions apply. They also offer a grant of up to £500 for installing a home EV charger to further reduce the upfront investment. Such financial support makes EVs that much more affordable and appealing to a large number of motorists.
Are you ready for your next electric or hybrid vehicle? Use this car finance calculator to see how much you could borrow to land the right car loan for your needs.
At My Car Credit, we make it easy to go green and get behind the wheel or a hybrid or electric vehicle. With cost-effective car financing options, we work with motorists who have a range of budgets and credit ratings. Give us a call on 01246 458 810 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to get started.
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