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Is It Better to Buy a Hybrid or Electric Car?

Find out if it's better to buy a hybrid or electric car today!

Part 1: Buy A Hybrid or Electric Car?

The answer to the above question isn't the same for everyone. It depends on the needs and lifestyle of the driver. But it helps to know the pros and cons of each environmentally-friendly vehicle if you are trying to decide between one or the other. In this article, we discuss factors such as initial cost, fuel efficiency and maintenance; stay tuned for more information about overall convenience.

First off, what's the difference between hybrid and electric? A hybrid car runs on a combination of gas and electricity; an electric car runs solely on electric power. Here are some other key differences between the two for potential owners to consider:

INITIAL COST

The most popular hybrid cars, such as the Honda Civic or the Toyota Prius, cost between $22,000 and 26,000. Comparably, the most popular electric cars range in price from $10,000 to $15,000 for starter models, to more than $110,000 for state-of-the art. You can find more information on price comparisons at carsdirect.com. Based on the above numbers alone, an electric car would seem like the best way to go. But are you really getting a good deal for one of those lower-end models? The answer to that question depends on your lifestyle and driving habits.

FUEL EFFICIENCY


Electric cars reign in the area of cost per mile. According to the consumer website CarsDirect, it costs one to two cents per mile to power an electric car, versus 8 to 10 cents per mile for a gas-fueled model. Naturally, the cost of hybrids falls in between these numbers, since hybrids depend on both electricity and fuel. Another joy of electric car ownership, besides not having to pay for gas, is the absence of any need for oil changes, fuel filters, or any other fuel-related expense normally associated with cars. In gas-powered cars, such expenses add up to anywhere from $100 to more than $800 per year for expensive repairs such as replacing the fuel pump. Add that savings to the amount the typical driver spends on fuel – about $1,500 – and you end up with a total savings of almost $2,500 per year. These lower costs per mile make electric cars particularly attractive.

GENERAL MAINTENANCE


In other aspects of maintenance, hybrid and electric cars actually have similar plusses. They both have electric motors (or parts of motors) that a mechanic can access with more ease than a typical combustion engine with many more parts. Electric motors also tend to last longer. The downside for either vehicle is the need, if something goes wrong with the electric or battery system, for a specialized repair shop that may be hard to find.

As for other common car ailments, such as brake repair and tire upkeep, the costs for cars with electric motors – be they electric cars or hybrids – are comparable to the standard repairs for combustion engines.

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