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Hybrid Cars vs. Electric Cars: Which One Should I Buy?

By: StaffJuly 8, 20212 min

Should I Buy an Electric Car?

More and more car owners are starting to take notice of electric vehicles. In fact, in the first half of 2014 electric vehicle sales jumped 35 percent compared to last year. How It Works: Electric vehicles are powered only by electricity. Instead of the gas engine, most drivers are used to, there is an electric motor instead that is powered by rechargeable batteries. The batteries can either be charged at home via a wall socket (make sure to check if your home's electric system can handle it first!) or when out on the road at public charging stations. Cost Savings: How much potential cost savings an electric car can offer really comes down to how much the vehicle costs, how much you drive, and then what the cost is for gas versus electricity to power the electric car. Luckily there are a number of online calculators to help you figure this out. Additionally, a number of states offer incentives, such as tax exemptions and exemptions from motor vehicle inspections, for electric car owners.

Should I Buy a Hybrid Car?

For car buyers that would prefer to not go all electric and have a mix of both electric and gas, hybrid cars are what they're looking for in a used car search. How It Works: Instead of fully depending on batteries to make the motor go, a hybrid vehicle includes both a gasoline fuel tank and gasoline engine, as well as batteries and an electric motor. Depending on your car's set-up, either both gas and electric work together to give the vehicle the power it needs, or the car runs on the electric motor and the gas is used to keep them charged. Cost Savings: Just like with an electric vehicle, how much a hybrid vehicle will save you each year depends on what you pay for it and how much you drive it. However, a hybrid also needs to factor in the vehicle's MPG (miles per gallon) and how much fuel costs where you live. The US Department of Energy offers an online calculator to help you compare a hybrid to a non-hybrid vehicle option to see what your estimated savings would be. Additionally, some states offer financial incentives for purchasing a hybrid vehicle, including rebates and tax credits, which can add up for more savings.

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