Comparing Hybrids, Plug-Ins, and Electric Vehicles

Home » Comparing Hybrids, Plug-Ins, and Electric Vehicles
September 09, 2023
Edward Smith

Unraveling the Differences Between Hybrids, Plug-In Hybrids and Electric

More people are buying electric cars, not just ones that run only on batteries like the Tesla Model 3 or Hyundai Ioniq 5. They’re also getting plug-in hybrids like the Kia Niro, hybrids like the Toyota Prius, and cars powered by hydrogen like the Toyota Mirai. But how are these cars different? We’ll look at each type to find out what they have in common and what makes them unique.

The Hybrid Vehicle

A hybrid car has a gasoline engine, but it doesn’t only use gasoline to move. These vehicles also have electric motors that run on batteries. These motors can make the car go by itself at slow speeds for a little while, or they can work together with the gasoline engine to strengthen the vehicle. When you press the brakes, the electric motors change and slow down the car, making electricity that goes into the battery. Some hybrids even use the gasoline engine to help put energy back into the battery. The Kia Sportage Hybrid and the Lexus ES 300h are well-known hybrid vehicles.

The Plug-in Hybrid Car

A plug-in hybrid car, or PHEV, is a mix of a gasoline engine, an electric motor, and a big battery. But the remarkable thing about PHEVs is the big battery that lets them drive only on electricity if the battery has enough power. Some PHEVs, like the Toyota RAV4 Prime, can use electricity for more than 40 miles. And if you forget to charge it, it’s okay—once the battery is empty, it works like a regular hybrid car.

The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car

These cars work without using gasoline and don’t need to be charged. Even though they’re electric vehicles, they’re different because they use hydrogen instead of batteries to store power. You can fill up these fuel cell vehicles with hydrogen quickly, just like how you fill up a regular gasoline car. Inside the car, a particular part called the fuel cell takes energy from hydrogen to power an electric motor. However, these vehicles are not widely available right now. Some of the hydrogen fuel cell models you can find include the Honda Clarity, Hyundai Nexo, and Toyota Mirai.

The Electric Vehicle

An electric vehicle, often called a battery electric vehicle (BEV) or EV, doesn’t need gasoline. Instead, it uses a battery and an electric motor to make power. At first, popular EVs like the Nissan Leaf could only go less than 100 miles on one charge. But now, modern electric cars and SUVs often go over 250 miles on a single charge. Some, like the BMW iX and Mercedes-Benz EQS, can even go more than 350 miles. According to the EPA, The Lucid Air can travel more than 500 miles on a full charge.

Difference Between a Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid

The big difference between a hybrid and a plug-in hybrid is how much you can get from your investment. Both cars can run on gasoline, but a plug-in hybrid can save you more money if you charge it often. Charging your plug-in hybrid regularly helps you spend less fuel using the electric mode. This is important because most plug-in hybrids cost more than regular hybrids with similar features.

Difference Between a Plug-in Hybrid and Battery Electric 

In simple words, an electric car doesn’t need gasoline. You can’t put regular fuel in an electric vehicle like the Mazda MX-30 EV. However, a plug-in hybrid can run like an electric car but also use gasoline, similar to a standard hybrid car.

Difference Between a Hydrogen Fuel Cell and Battery Electric 

Both vehicles use electric motors, but they store energy in different ways to make the motors work. A fuel cell vehicle makes electricity for its motor using hydrogen, while an EV stores electricity in a big battery to make its motor go.

In Conclusion

You have various ways to bring electricity into your daily commute, ranging from minor to significant changes. Opting for a regular hybrid can significantly improve fuel efficiency, while selecting an electric vehicle can lead to financial savings and a positive environmental impact. Your financial circumstances and specific requirements will guide your optimal decision, and the assortment of available options is undeniable.

Watch the following video to learn about the difference between plug-in hybrid, hybrid, and electric vehicles and find out which car is best for you.

Northern California Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. A car collision can result in severe injuries and wrongful death. If you’ve experienced injuries or a loved one was killed in an avoidable accident, contact our legal team at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly, compassionate advice. Our team of injury attorneys has been assisting clients in securing equitable settlements and verdicts since 1982.

Photo by Andrew Roberts on Unsplash

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