Electric, hybrid or petrol - which one is better?
A little over ten years ago, this wouldn’t have been a question. These days, however, almost every car company has invested in alternative fueling, and the benefits and advantages of electric cars and hybrids are starting to overtake conventional petrol-powered vehicles.
But are these newer technologies right for everyone? We look at the benefits and pitfalls of electric, hybrid and petrol cars to help you decide which is best.
Electric vehicle (EV) - A car that runs completely on electricity, stored in its onboard batteries, recharged via cable. Otherwise known as a Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV).
Hybrid - Cars that run using a combination of a conventional diesel or petrol engine and an electric motor and batteries. There are a range of different hybrids you can choose from, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), self-charging hybrids, mild hybrids and full hybrids.
Petrol car - A car that runs on spark-ignited internal combustion and that requires regular fuel top-ups. In contrast, a diesel car uses a compression-ignited system.
It depends. Ultimately, which type of car you choose should come down to your specific lifestyle requirements and your routine car journeys. That being said, there are several advantages that make more energy-efficient vehicles such as EVs and hybrids more compelling and cost-effective compared to the typical gas guzzler. Here’s a breakdown of each vehicle type with its advantages and disadvantages.
Environmentally-friendly - A fully electric car is possibly the best choice for the environment. This is because it produces near, or absolute, zero emissions.
Cost-effective to run - Is it cheaper to run an electric car rather than a petrol one? The answer is: yes. EVs are solely powered by electricity, so they require no petrol and electricity costs much less. Find out more about how much it costs to charge an electric car and what you could save.
Cheap to maintain - Since EV’s don’t require as much maintenance (there are fewer moving parts in an electric car) nor fuel changes than combustion-powered vehicles, EVs incur fewer maintenance costs.
Quieter - On road, plug-in cars are quiet and smooth to run.
Less road tax - Owning or leasing a pure electric vehicle means you don’t need to pay any road tax.
Tax incentives and government grants - Currently, there are a number of tax breaks and grants that make owning or leasing an EV more cost-effective. Read more about the various electric car grants available to bring the price tag down on your next EV lease.
Slow to charge - The main disadvantage of owning or leasing an electric car is how long it takes to charge.
Shorter range - Most EVs only have a range of 80-100 miles. After that, they’ll need to be recharged, which may mean stopping mid-journey to recharge your EV.
Charging inconvenience - This brings us to our next point, Finding a charging point en-route is sometimes easier said than done. Though more charging points are being installed across the UK, there are still far fewer charging locations than petrol stations.
More expensive to buy - Similar to hybrids, electric cars are more expensive to buy or lease.
Slower performance - Is an electric car faster than a gas car? Though EVs are quicker to start given their instant acceleration, overall they still aren’t as fast as some petrol cars.
Eco-friendly - Though not as green as an EV, a hybrid is still much more environmentally-friendly than a classic gas-guzzler. Combining fuel with electricity, they produce lower emissions than standard petrol vehicles.
Less in fuel costs - Combining an electric engine with fuel means that hybrid cars offer better gas mileage. That means they require less fuel to cover longer distances, which means you’ll be spending less on fuel top-ups.
Tax breaks - Similar to EVs, there are some tax breaks available to hybrids given that they’re more environmentally-friendly.
More expensive to buy - Just like EVs, hybrids are more expensive to buy or lease given their newer technology
Weaker handling - Since they’re more compact and lightweight, the handling in a hybrid is sometimes less than ideal compared to that of a petrol car.
Slower - As with EVs, hybrids are slower, in general, than fully combustion engine vehicles.
Cheaper to buy - Since petrol cars and combustion technology have been around for much longer, they are cheaper to buy or lease than plug-ins.
Faster - In general, combustion-powered cars can reach higher speeds.
Longer range - Unlike some EVs that have a limited range, petrol cars can cover more miles.
Convenient to top-up - As there are gas stations almost everywhere, topping up en-route is easy and convenient.
Expensive to fuel - One of the biggest disadvantages of owning a petrol car is just how expensive they are to refuel. Petrol isn’t cheap.
Expensive to maintain - With more moving parts than an EV or even a hybrid, it can be more expensive to service and maintain a petrol vehicle.
Harmful to the environment - The reason companies like Tesla set out to manufacturer electric vehicles was primarily because of the harmful effects CO2 emissions are having on the environment. Out of all three types of vehicles described here, petrol cars are the least eco-friendly due to their polluting tailpipe emissions.
There’s no doubt that EVs and hybrid vehicles represent the future.
Given how cheap they are to run and maintain, as well as the various grants and tax incentives available to help you save on purchase price and maintenance, there’s no reason why an EV or hybrid could be the best choice for your next lease.
If you make unusually long journeys on a frequent or daily basis, then you might want to stick with a conventional combustion engine, for now. Sooner or later, the technology will catch up, and there'll be more options to choose from.
Whether you decide to go electric, hybrid or petrol-powered for your new lease, Rivervale is here to help.
We offer some fantastic electric and hybrid leases allowing you to experience all the benefits that come with owning an eco-friendly vehicle, without the giant price tag. Get in touch to find out which vehicle is best for you.