Electric Cars vs Hybrid Cars - What's the Difference?


If you're looking for a new vehicle, it may truly be time to start looking into alternatives to standard gasoline-powered engines. Various types of electric cars are gaining popularity, with more sales and support every year.

However, one big question remains: Do you buy a hybrid car, or an all-electric car? They're similar in that they're more eco-friendly than standard internal combustion engines (ICEs) but there's a lot that separates them. Let's take a look.

The Differences Between Hybrid Cars and Electric Cars

The concept of an electric car is simple: the entire vehicle is powered by a single huge rechargeable battery, powering motors attached to each wheel. No gasoline is used; you simply plug it in overnight so it can recharge.

Hybrid cars are more complicated, however, so we'll focus on those. "Hybrid" describes any of several designs which utilize electrical power, but also includes a standard gas-burning internal combustion engine. The idea is to try to have the "best of both worlds" between electrical and ICE systems.

Types of Hybrid Cars

1. Parallel hybrid

In a parallel hybrid, the electric and gasoline motors are typically active at the same time, enhancing each other. This reduces gas use, but without relying entirely on electric power.

2. Series hybrid

In a series hybrid car, the electric motors are used for driving, and the gasoline engine basically works like a generator, supplying more electricity to the system.

3. Mild hybrid

A mild hybrid is the opposite of a series hybrid: the gasoline motor is the primary driver, while electrical systems are a backup, or supplement the ICE when more power is needed.

4. Plug-in hybrid

A plug-in hybrid basically functions like an electric car, with a large battery that is manually recharged and provides all the driving power. The gasoline motor is only there as an emergency backup, if the battery runs out of juice.

5. Two-mode hybrid

Two-mode hybrids are rare, but essentially, they contain all the workings of both an ICE and an electric car. The driver chooses which mode to drive in, depending on the situation.

In general, hybrids are more robust than electric cars, with less chance of running out of power. However, they also tend to cost more because of the extra engineering involved. Also, hybrids are typically more difficult (and expensive) to repair. Electric vehicles are more mechanically simple, and less prone to breakdown, but you do have to very carefully manage the battery.

1000 Islands Toyota is your Brockville source for the best new and used Toyota vehicles on the market, including both hybrid cars and electric cars. Whatever fits your lifestyle and needs, we can make it happen. Contact us to arrange for test drives!