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Differences Between Electric Cars and Hybrid Cars

November 13, 2019

If you’re wondering which option to go for, an electric or a hybrid car, then you’ve come to the right place. French & German Car Services Ltd explore the main differences between electric cars and hybrid cars. Choosing to buy a greener, non-polluting and zero emissions car is becoming an increasingly more popular. As well as an increasingly more feasible choice for many car buyers. Although, hybrid cars and electric cars are still relatively expensive when compared to purchasing their petrol and diesel counterparts. There are increasingly more electric charging points popping up all over the country to encourage and better accommodate for vast electric car use expected in the future. This is fantastic news for the eco-conscious warriors among us, and for those who wish to save a little extra money on the day-to-day running costs of their car.


Electric Cars vs. Hybrid Cars

Two electric cars at a public charging point in the countryside

If you have decided to make the greener car alternative switch, and you are torn between purchasing an electric or a hybrid car, then knowing the differences between them, and which is better suited to your lifestyle, is integral to your decision making.


Let’s start with the main differences between the two vehicle types. These are, very simply put, that electric cars get all their power from an electric power source, meaning they are non-polluting, zero emissions vehicles. Whereas hybrid cars, as their name suggests, are a combination of two different vehicle types: the traditional gasoline-powered (either petrol or diesel) cars and electric powered cars.


Although hybrid cars are a great investment, they are well suited to people who do not make lengthy trips. This is because they have a smaller electric battery compared to an electric car which has a larger battery and therefore more power. So, if you do take shorter car trips, or your commute is not that far away in relation to your home, then a hybrid car is ideal. Hybrid cars are most well suited for short journeys as you can solely rely on the small electric battery for the duration.


How Do Hybrid Cars Work?

Hybrid vehicles have a combustion engine that runs on gasoline. This is combined with an electric motor with an attached rechargeable battery pack. The rechargeable battery pack enables the electric-powered driving. Interestingly, hybrid cars can rely on one of these power sources, depending on the driving type and distance, or use both these engines at the same time to increase power. It really depends on you, your journeys, and how you want to make best use of the gas/ electric combo.


There are two main types of hybrid cars available on the market today: plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and standard hybrids. Plug-in hybrids can be charged at electric car charging stations, unlike standard hybrids which cannot. This means PHEVs, in general, have a larger electric battery compared to standard hybrids, and they have the ability to drive solely on electric power. By comparison, standard hybrids have an internal combustion engine which charges the battery pack and they use regenerative braking.


While hybrid cars are significantly better for the environment than cars that solely rely on petrol or diesel, hybrids are categorised as low emissions, as opposed to zero emissions. This is because only part of their operating power is sourced from electricity. In addition, hybrid cars consume less fuel and emit less CO2 than petrol or diesel cars.


Our Guide to Charging Electric Cars

Hybrid and electric car charging

Electric cars can be charged at home, or at a public charging point. However, the most common and easiest way to charge an electric car is at home. This is because it can be conveniently charged overnight, ready for you to run errands or go to work in the morning.


There are two methods of home charging: slow charging and fast charging. Slow charging means plugging the charger into a standard 3-point plug socket. It’s easy, convenient and the wattage is low – which is why it takes a bit longer to charge the vehicle. It is estimated this method takes between 8 – 14 hours to fully charge the vehicle. Fast charging is a charging point which is installed onto your property, placed either in the garage or driveway. This method is estimated to take between 3 – 4 hours to fully charge the car. The cost of both these methods very much depends on your electricity use, how long the vehicle takes to charge, and how frequently it requires charging.


By comparison, public charging points are also very convenient and generally offer fast charging. It is estimated that a full charge at one of these public charging points could be achieved in as little time as 2 hours. Public charging points are particularly useful if you are out and about and require some additional power or have completely run out of charge. These public charging points are becoming increasingly popular with plans for many more to be installed across the country.


One of the main questions people ask surrounding the charge of electric cars is: how long does the charge last? Generally speaking, most electric vehicles are able to do 100 miles of driving before they need to be charged again. This roughly equates to around 2 hours of motorway driving before the electric vehicle needs to be recharged or topped up.


Contact Us

If you’re looking for a well-established, family run car service, car repairs and MOT centre, then look no further than F&G Car Services Ltd. We specialise in providing the key services every motorist needs to keep their vehicle running smoothly all year round. You can contact our friendly and expert team on 0207 609 1502 or by filling out our online enquiry form.