With many of us looking for ways to reduce our environmental footprint, it’s no surprise that the demand for eco-friendly vehicles is on the rise. However, many people looking to shift from regular cars to eco-friendly ones may be unsure as to what type of cars are in the market and what they should get.
Each variant has its own pros and cons. If you want to know which one is better for you, you need to figure out how each of these options fares against your needs and expectations.
Below is a complete guide of the two main kinds of eco-friendly vehicles – Electric and Hybrid, to help you make the right decision.
Electric Cars – An Overview
The market for electric cars or EVs is growing considerably. Major market players such as Tesla, Renault, and Nissan are already producing some of the best electric cars. While every brand comes up with an innovation of its own, here are a few basic facts about electric cars in general.
An electric car does not have combustion engines, but a combination of a battery pack and an electric motor. This also means fewer lubricating parts and less maintenance in the long run.
The list of electric cars’ pros and cons is extensive. Here are a few facts that will give you a better idea of why they are a good option:
- An electric car does not emit CO2, and hence, a smaller footprint
- Electricity is cheaper and greener than fuels used by combustion engines
- Electric cars are quiet as compared to petrol and diesel-powered cars
- An EV is more stable because the battery installed at the bottom lowers its center of gravity
Price of Electric Vehicles
The comparatively heavier price tag of an all-electric car is seen as a drawback, but the cost of new models is quite competitive. The high price is mainly due to the cost of the battery. However, the amount you can save on fuel, in the long run, makes it a worthy investment.
Let’s talk a little more about the self-sufficiency of electric cars. Depending on the specific capacity of the battery, the car manufacturers guarantee an autonomy of 150 to 400 kilometers. This seems like a huge limitation for many consumers. Besides, even the fastest public chargers can take around half an hour to fully charge your car’s batteries. Home chargers, on the other hand, may take around 20 hours.
Hybrid cars – An Overview
While electric cars only use electricity, hybrid vehicles combine electricity with a petrol or diesel engine. As with electric vehicles, the range of hybrid cars continues to grow steadily. Several manufacturers such as Mitsubishi, Volkswagen, and BMW have introduced some of the best hybrid cars.
A hybrid car combines two engines under the hood. One is a regular combustion engine powered by petrol or diesel. The other one is an electric motor with a corresponding battery. The battery is charged by the internal combustion engine while driving. So, you don’t have to look for a station to charge the car.
While every manufacturer comes up with an innovation, hybrid vehicles can be loosely categorized into two types.
Mild Hybrid Vehicle
In a mild hybrid, also known as a battery-assisted hybrid vehicle, the electric motor serves purely as support for the combustion engine when the car is braking, coasting, or quickly restarting. In this case, the electric module can never power the vehicle on its own due to smaller batteries.
Full Hybrid Vehicle
The ‘full hybrid’ can actually drive on batteries for a short distance and at a limited speed. The classic example is the Toyota Prius. The batteries of these cars have a larger capacity and the electrical management system is more complex than with a ‘mild hybrid’.
Electric cars vs hybrid cars – what’s the difference?
The major difference between electric and hybrid cars is that hybrid cars offer more control and flexibility. Hybrid cars autonomously switch between power sources while fully electric cars do not use any fuel at all.
A hybrid car does not require to be charged at a station. The battery is recharged by residual energy released during driving and braking. Some hybrids can run on electricity for short journeys before they automatically switch to the combustion engine.
EVs are certainly better for the environment from an emissions point of view.
A hybrid vehicle combines electricity with a diesel or petrol engine but also uses residual heat and energy from the diesel or petrol engine to charge the electric battery in the car.
Cost-effectiveness is another important aspect of the electric cars vs hybrid cars debate. The initial cost of fully electric cars is higher since there are fewer options available in the market.
Given the combined engine capabilities, hybrid vehicles are less expensive and easy to maintain in the long run. Conversely, for longer journeys, you will save more with a fully electric vehicle.
While many believe that it is easier to own a hybrid due to the easy availability of fuel, the UAE government is continuously evolving the country’s infrastructure to facilitate electric car owners.
Over the last few years, more than 240 electric vehicle charging stations have also been installed in Dubai, aiming at a total of 300 by the end of 2020. With over 632 charging points across the UAE, there is no shortage of convenient places to recharge an EV.
After the launch of the Green Charger initiative in 2015, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) has extended free electric charging stations for EV owners until December 31, 2021. The extension allows owners to register for the EV Green Charger Initiative that allows them to charge their vehicles for free at DEWA charging stations.
Consumer buying behavior and manufacturers’ focus are progressively shifting towards greener vehicles. Although the cost of hybrid and electric cars is slightly higher than the cost of conventional vehicles, the drawn-out advantages make them an incredibly profitable asset. Now that you know everything about both the eco-friendly options, check out dubizzle’s used cars section to find your next hybrid or electric car.