Electric Cars vs Hybrid Cars - What You Should Know


If you've been looking into electric cars or hybrid cars in Canada, but unsure if it was the right time to buy - it is! The vehicle market has been in flux for the last 15-20 years, but at this point, the trends are becoming clear. Zero-emissions vehicles (ZEV), like electric cars and hybrid cars, are going to be the vehicles of the future. More charging stations are being built every day, more government regulations are promoting ZEV sales, and consumers are buying in larger numbers too!

There's no better time to invest in your first ZEV, rather than continuing to spend money on gas-burning internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. However, this does raise one important question: Should you buy a fully Electric Vehicle, or choose a hybrid instead? Toyota produces both, and as the top Toyota dealer in Brockville, 1000 Islands Toyota is here to help you find the best car or truck for your needs!

So, let's look at the major differences between the technologies.

Electric Cars vs Hybrid Cars: Making the Choice

1. Hybrid Cars

Simply put, hybrid cars are vehicles that include both gasoline and electric motors, allowing them to theoretically be a "best of both worlds" solution. Broadly speaking, they come in three types. They may be gas-powered with backup electric power, electric-powered with backup ICE engine, or attempt to balance the use of the two motor types.

Currently, the fastest-growing segment of hybrids are called plug-in hybrids, such as the Prius Prime, which would be the second type. They are primarily electric vehicles but also include a gasoline engine for use if the electric motor runs out of juice. For anyone who is nervous about their ability to find charging stations, or who goes offroad a lot, this can be a great solution that ensures you're able to keep driving no matter the situation.

If used properly, with the gasoline engine reserved for emergencies, a hybrid car is just as low emission as a full EV. You just have the ICE there in case you need it. This is why plug-ins are becoming such a popular option. They have all the benefits of EVs but without concern about running out of electricity.

However, be aware that plug-in hybrids tend to be more expensive than either EVs or ICEs. Since they have to include two different motors and two different drive trains, as well as the engineering needed to smoothly switch between the two modes while driving, this necessarily drives up the cost.

Still, they remain the best all-around option if you can afford the higher price. Plus, Toyota has been one of the world leaders in hybrid technology since the 1990s. No other consumer car company has as much experience with hybrids as Toyota!

2. Electric Cars

The other option, of course, is to go fully electric with an Electric Vehicle, such as the BZ4X Crossover. Full EVs typically feature a much larger battery than most plug-in hybrids, allowing them to go further on a single charge. With more than 20,000 charging ports in Canada - and tens of thousands more scheduled to be installed in the near future - it's easier than ever to find a place to recharge. If you stick primarily to driving in well-populated areas, you'll have little problem keeping your electric car or truck charged.

Plus, of course, you'll be driving the most ecologically friendly vehicles currently on the market. It's a great choice for people who want to significantly reduce their carbon footprint without changing their lifestyle.

Another big advantage to full EVs is that they are mechanically simpler than either ICEs or hybrids. This means you'll have to do less regular maintenance on your car. For example, forget about ever changing your oil again - EVs don't need motor oil. This also means there are fewer mechanical components to be damaged, so EVs will tend to need fewer repairs overall. This can significantly reduce your total cost of ownership over the lifetime of the vehicle!

However, be aware that buying an EV will realistically necessitate installing a charging port in your garage, or somewhere nearby on your home. This will add to the initial price. The chargers themselves are typically only a few hundred dollars, but the cost may go up depending on how much electrical rewiring will be required to support them.

It's possible to buy a charger that simply plugs into a regular 120V outlet, but these chargers are slow - possibly too slow for normal use. To get the most out of your EV, you'll probably want a Level 2 station, which requires a dedicated 240V feed. This is a wiring change that must be done by qualified electricians!

Still, once installed the charging port will be useful for decades to come, so it's an investment that will pay off over time.

1000 Islands Toyota Can Help You Join the Electric Future

For over 35 years, 1000 Islands Toyota has been Brockville's source for the best in Toyota vehicles, parts, accessories, and service. Just as Toyota has been a frontrunner in electric and hybrid technology, we've been part of that wave helping Canadians embrace the next generation of driving.

Our staff is highly trained and focused on your satisfaction. That's why we've grown to be one of the biggest car dealerships and service shops in the area. No matter your needs, we have a huge range of both new and used Toyota vehicles - including electric cars and hybrid cars - to suit any driver and budget!

If you've been curious to try out hybrids or EVs, we're here to help. We're happy to arrange a test drive for any vehicle we have! Just contact us, or come by the lot to make it happen.