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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 2: Buy A Hybrid or Electric Car?

In an earlier article, we began exploring whether hybrid or electric cars are better for drivers. We covered initial costs and fuel efficiency, but here's some more information to help you make your best decision.

CONVENIENCE

The electric car's cheap power comes at a price – it limits the driver's freedom. Electric cars have their own feeding schedules, and will go on strike if you don't comply. When low on power, they need to be charged, a process that can take up to 10 hours. Not the end of the world, but something to consider if you like being able to just get up and go somewhere at a moment's notice.

Another problem is the limited range of travel allowed by electric cars. Typically, electric cars can go between 60 and 150 miles before they need recharging. Driving one across the country involves some extra planning to make sure charging stations are available. However, the Department of Energy has a handy website providing information about where drivers can find alternate-fuel stations nationwide: http://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/electricity_locations.html.

When charging your car at home, you'll need to consult with your mechanic or car salesperson for the best charging equipment. Some people opt to install charging systems that protect against electrical cords being exposed to the elements. But for those who want to keep it basic, the process actually is as simple as it sounds; once you have the cable and battery in place, you can recharge your car from the same outlet that you might use to plug in appliances such as electric dryers or gardening equipment.

But even though charging your electric car can be a cinch, hybrid cars still have the clear upper hand when it comes to convenience. This is because hybrid cars can charge themselves as the car is moving or braking. Hybrid engines are able to harness energy expelled when the car slows down or coasts to spin a generator that stores energy in the battery. In other words, they use gas, but do so more efficiently. For more information on now hybrids work, see https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20071115034337AAFHWkQ.

Based on the convenience factor, wouldn't a hybrid be the clear winner? A lot of people would say so, and this probably accounts for the higher price of most front-end hybrid models. But an electric car might still be seriously for you if you rarely travel long distances. If you need a car for a long trip, you could exercise the option of borrowing friends, or using some of the money you've saved on fuel to rent a car for the weekend. And arguably, electric cars are the noblest way to fight pollution as a driver. Hybrids are still polluting the air by burning fossil fuels. Then again, the electricity generation that powers electric cars also depends on the burning of fossil fuels.

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