Opinion

Should You Buy an Electric Car Or a Hybrid Car?

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The majority of UK drivers are still choosing petrol or diesel cars in 2021. However, the popularity of electric and hybrid vehicles has risen dramatically. In March 2021, the sale of electric and hybrid vehicles surged despite UK lockdown restrictions. Plug-in vehicle sales account for almost 14% of all new car sales in March 2021 but why are they so popular and is it about time that you joined the electric revolution?

Benefits of electric cars

There are many advantages to buying an electric car. For the eco conscious amongst us, the biggest benefit is their effect on the environment. However, there are also many other benefits for UK drivers. 


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  • Electric cars use a battery rather than fuel, so they produce zero harmful emissions into the environment. 
  • Electric cars also benefit from government incentives such as the electric plug in Car Grant. This enables drivers to get money from the government to purchase an all-electric vehicle and even applies when getting a car on finance.
  • The running costs of an electric vehicle are significantly lower than that of a petrol or diesel car. It is estimated that charging an electric vehicle at home can cost as little as a few pounds each day, depending on your usage and mileage. 
  • Electric vehicles also qualify for free road tax if they cost less than £40,000. 
  • One of the biggest benefits for any driver is the quality of the drive when owning an electric vehicle. The electric motor is generally much quieter than a petrol or diesel vehicles which creates a more comfortable ride all round. 

Disadvantages of electric cars

Reading the benefits of electric cars above may have you wondering if there are any disadvantages of an environmentally friendly car? 

  • The biggest drawback of owning an electric car is the time it takes to charge. It’s not as quick as a 5-minute trip to a petrol pump. The average EV in the UK can reach full charge in around 8 hours. 
  • Another drawback of charging your vehicle is where you charge it. Some dealers and manufactures offer home charging points for free which can be charged at the mains in your home. However, this isn’t an option for most people who don’t use their garage for their car or live in a built-up area.
  • Fully electric cars can be expensive to buy outright too. For most families in the UK, an electric car is still out of their price range. With most EVs starting from around £10k over the cost price of your average petrol or diesel. 
  • The battery range of an electric vehicle is also a lot more significant than the range of a petrol or diesel car. 

Benefits of hybrid cars 

A hybrid car is a vehicle that uses a combination of propulsions such as a petrol or diesel engine with an electric motor. 

  • Compared to a petrol or diesel car, hybrid cars have better fuel economy and produce less emissions into the environment.
  • Some hybrid models also don’t need to be plugged into the mains to charge the electric batter, making it easier to switch between propulsion options. 
  • Diesel hybrids offer the same levels of economical driving as normal diesel cars and can use the electric ability for urban areas. 
  • There are no range limits like there are with all electric vehicle, so you don’t have to worry about your electric battery dying mid journey. 
  • The dual propulsion means that hybrids benefit from the performance of the larger engine but with the economy of a smaller one. 

Disadvantages of hybrid cars

Hybrid cars have dual propulsion which makes for many great benefits but there can also be some benefits of owning a hybrid car compared to a petrol or diesel car. 

  • Like all electric vehicles, it still can be expensive to buy a new hybrid car outright and it can be hard to save money for a new car. However, you can also get an affordable hire purchase car finance deal on a hybrid car. 
  • Many hybrids aren’t eligible for the low emissions plug-in grant in the UK.
  • Having a twin powered engine means that hybrids can be less powerful. The petrol or diesel engine is usually much smaller than that of a normal fuel powered vehicle. 
  • Having a petrol or diesel engine, a battery pack and an electric motor can make hybrids heavier vehicles and can reduce fuel efficiency.

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