Hybrids or electric cars: choosing the best green option
Looking for the perfect car that fits your lifestyle? Your needs are different, and so is your perfect car. Are you a road warrior or more of a weekend driver? Long distances are par for the course? Read on to discover what the best option is for you.
Two main types of cars are popular on the market today: hybrids (or plug-in hybrids) and electric vehicles. Each has its advantages and its drawbacks. Here’s an overview of the different models, to help you pick the most practical and eco-friendly option that matches your profile.
Hybrid vehicles require half the amount of gas that regular cars use, while plug-in hybrids use only a quarter of that amount.
There are many types of hybrids, but the most common ones have a gas engine and one or two electric motors. The electric motor powers the car until the battery is drained, at which point the gas engine kicks in.
Plug-in hybrids operate on the same principle, but the battery is larger and can be charged at your home or closest public charging station.
- Consumers have less to choose from in this category because users who want to go green often opt to go fully electric.
- Hybrids lose their environmental edge if the gas engine kicks in too often, or if it’s not practical to recharge the battery on a daily basis.
- Trunks are smaller in hybrids because having several motors takes up a lot of space (this is especially true in the case of plug-in hybrids).
Hybrids: Do you fit the profile?
If you typically drive short distances but want the flexibility to be able to take longer road trips, a hybrid may suit your lifestyle. They allow you to travel an average of 50 km on battery power and up to 400 km on the gas motor.
It’s also a good option if you don’t have a charging station at home, or if the prospect of running out of fuel stresses you out.
Above all, it’s important to have a relaxed driving style. If you tend to race on the road, your car will be using the gas motor most of the time, reducing the cost-savings and environmental benefits of a hybrid.
Electric cars are powered only by an electric motor and a battery. Since they use no gas, they are the most environmentally friendly cars available today.
They are also the most economical. Compared to a regular vehicle, an electric car costs five times less in fuel costs in addition to letting you save 20 per cent on insurance and $1,500 per year overall.
- If you can’t install a charging station at home, you’re dependent on external charging stations.
- An electric car can travel only as far as its batteries allow, placing limits on long-distance driving. Plus, crowding of public charging stations can lead to tensions among users.
Electric cars: do you fit the profile?
Do you drive short or medium distances and prefer not to spend a lot on car maintenance? Are you ready to go green and reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible? If so, this may be the right type of car for you!
Electric cars can be a great option provided you don’t need to drive more than 100 km at a time and you have easy access to charging stations, either at home or nearby, where you can charge your car day or night.
Patience and flexibility will also be a must for drivers of electric cars, since the growing popularity of these vehicles means more competition for a limited number of public charging stations.
The Plugshare website lets you locate every public charging station across North America.
Fascinated by the evolution of car technology? Discover what our experts have to say on the subject.
As you can see, there really isn’t any wrong choice, just different options. Whatever car you choose, be sure to drive safely, keep a cool head at the wheel and enjoy hitting the open road knowing that you’re driving the car that perfectly matches your lifestyle.