5 reasons why you should pick an electric vehicle over a hybrid

With the inflation of fuel prices and the present climate crisis we're in, everyone is looking to invest in the cleanest and most affordable vehicle available. While we encourage everyone to take public transportation or walk when they can, some of us need a car to get by. Battery electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles are seen as environmentally friendly options, which begs the question: is there a difference between them? Which is better? Though some people may be understandably thrown off by the cost of battery electric vehicles, with their increasing popularity, they have become price-competitive with hybrid electric vehicles. More importantly though, they also cost less to maintain and are better for the environment.

Before we dive into why battery electric vehicles are a better choice than hybrid electric vehicles, especially if you prioritise your environmental impact in this decision-making process, it's important to draw the difference between the two. A battery electric vehicle is completely powered by its battery, which makes it fully electric. Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) and Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), however, still partially rely on fossil fuels. If you're thinking about getting a hybrid initially and getting a battery-electric vehicle later down the track, perhaps these 5 reasons below will convince you to invest in a battery-electric vehicle altogether.

1. EVs are better for the environment

Because battery electric vehicles are fully electric, they produce zero tailpipe emissions, which make them the more apparent choice for people who place great value on reducing their carbon footprint. A hybrid vehicle on the other hand, still uses a petrol engine to evaporate, so they consistently produce more greenhouse gas emissions compared to electric vehicles. For instance,popular plug-in hybrid vehiclesemit around 40 CO2g/km while hybrid electric vehicles release twice as much CO2g/km.

Importantly, if we transition to a renewable grid in the future, electric cars offer a better option as it will generate electricity entirely from clean energy. Meanwhile having a hybrid vehicle means you would be locked into fossil fuels regardless.

2. EVs have lower maintenance costs

Hybrid cars are composed of an electric motor as well as an internal combustion engine, hence hybrid owners will have to pay for the maintenance of both systems. The servicing required for the electric motor resembles that of an EV, while the maintenance plan of the internal combustion engine would be similar to a traditional vehicle.

Since an electric vehicle does not have an engine or transmission, has fewer moving parts, and doesn't require any fuel, it should generally have lower operating costs than a hybrid vehicle. Climate Councilestimates that the annual average fuel and/or charging costs can be up to 2.4 times more for hybrids compared to battery electric vehicles. While it still needs to be serviced, electric vehicle owners wouldn't need to worry about things like spark plugs and oil changes. The maintenance required for each vehicle type would depend on its specific model and how it is driven by its owner.

3. EVs have a greater electric range

Some might be curious about how EVs weigh up to hybrids performance-wise without using fossil fuels. Electric vehicles are quiet yet they have smooth and speedy acceleration. Comparatively, they are also more fuel-efficient than gas-powered and hybrid cars.

Battery electric vehicles are also suitable for people who consistently take longer driving trips as they tend to have a greater electric driving range compared to hybrids. For example, some BEVs have nine times the electric driving range of a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Because of its limited electric range, hybrids primarily rely on fossil fuels for longer trips.

4. EV buyers get great government incentives

In Australia, electric car buyers can claim various incentives from the Government, including rebates and reduced registration fees. In NSW, rebates for electric and fuel-celled vehicles go up to $3,000 for vehicles priced up to $68,750. There are also stamp duty exemptions for certain EVs up to $78,000.

In New Zealand, the Government also provides rebates for zero-emission vehicle owners to encourage people to participate in their goal of becoming carbon neutral. These rebates are great for people who might be initially put off by the higher upfront costs of electric cars compared to hybrids.

5. EV's charging infrastructure will expand over time

Some of us might not live in metro areas with ample charging infrastructure, thus we may be left wondering if electric cars are indeed a convenient and practical choice.

This concern may reduce over time as there are already plans by governments to expand charging infrastructures for EVs so that drivers have reliable and accessible charging stations to turn to, which would make EVs the practical choice over time.

So if you were thinking about getting a hybrid initially and getting a battery-electric vehicle later down the track, why wait. In America, people tend to own cars for about 8 years on average and in Australia it is closer to 11 years. If you are making a long term investment, it is worth thinking about whether you want to lock yourself into relying on fossil fuels for any longer than you have to.

We have partnered with Polestar, a car company that has circularity at its heart, to share the experience and benefits of owning an electric vehicle for those who still need to rely on a car. Electric vehicles along with well funded and designed public transport, cycling, walking and other zero emissions modes of transport all have a role to play in our fossil fuel free future!

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