Hybrid vs Electric: What's the Difference?

Prius, electric car 

One of the great things about Toyota is that they provide consumers with a vast array of options. If you're looking for ways to reduce your carbon footprint, then you'll probably want to invest in an electric or hybrid vehicle. Although both use electricity to power their engines, there are some differences between the two types of vehicles. These are some of the basic things you should know about electric cars and hybrid cars so that you can determine which type will best fit your needs:

What is an Electric Car?

An electric car is a vehicle that operates solely on electric power. Electric cars are incredibly efficient and convert around 59 to 62 percent of their electrical energy, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This is a stark contrast to gas-fueled vehicles, which only convert 17 to 21 percent of the energy in the gasoline that they use.

Because electric cars don't use gas, there's no need for an exhaust system. This means that they produce zero emissions. Their batteries are also completely recyclable. There are numerous other benefits to driving an electric car as well, including the cost of operation, which is low as a result of the fact that electricity is much cheaper than gas.

Additionally, electric cars have much fewer moving parts in their engines, making them easier to maintain. You also won't have to worry about changing the oil or the air filters like you would have to do on a regular basis for a gas-powered car.

With a fully-charged battery, an electric car can typically drive between 50 and 100 miles, which makes them better suited for shorter commutes. To recharge, the electric car will need to be plugged into a normal 13 amp power supply, which can be found in the home. Because it takes a few hours to recharge, most owners will recharge their electric cars at night.

What is a Hybrid Car?

A hybrid car consumes between 30 and 60 percent less fuel than traditional gas-fueled cars, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Hybrids are unique in that they are built with two engines, one that runs on gas and one that runs on electric.

When in electric mode, a hybrid car produces no emissions, just like an electric car. However, the inclusion of a gas-powered engine allows it to switch over once the battery runs out of power, which means that a hybrid car is able to go much longer distances than the standard electric car.

A hybrid car is just as efficient as an electric car, but it also comes equipped with a backup plan for when the car runs out of electric power. Like electric cars, a hybrid can also be easily plugged in to recharge its motor.

Both the electric car and the hybrid car are excellent environmentally-friendly alternatives to standard gas-powered vehicles. For information about our line of hybrid cars, be sure to contact us at Bobby Rahal Toyota in Mechanicsburg, PA today.

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