Should You Go Hybrid Instead of All-Electric?

The availability of hybrid and all-electric cars is growing with the increasing demand, and for many consumers, that means a whole new world of car ownership. Owning a hybrid or all-electric car is new to many consumers, and just like we had to learn the ins and outs of buying regular cars and what the different drivetrain options mean, it’s important to do the same with electric motors so that we can be informed consumers. When it comes to picking between a hybrid and an all-electric car, the options seem simple at first, but for many people making their first-time electric purchase, it’s hard to know exactly what you are getting into.

Benefits of owning a hybrid

Buying a hybrid seems like the first intermediary step between driving your regular, gas-powered combustion engine and going all-electric. This doesn’t mean that you have any more maintenance costs than your standard car, typically, but it does give you some of the comfort and familiarity that most drivers on the road today were raised on. In some ways owning a hybrid is a healthy stepping stone, where we don’t have to give up the sound of the engine and the ability to stop for gas any time we are running low on fuel, and to some people that comfort is pretty important when making such a big purchase.

BMW 7 Series 745e plug-in hybrid luxury limousine on display at Brussels Expo
The BMW 7 Series Plug-in Hybrid | Sjoerd van der Wal/Getty Images

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Electric-range anxiety might not be a real thing, but when I’m buzzing around in a hybrid I feel like I’m constantly stressed about how far I need to travel on electric range — well, that could be partly due to the fact that I don’t fill up the regular gas tank and try my best to rely on all-electric power out of sheer laziness. Driving a hybrid reassures us that if we are out and about running errands or on a long road trip, we aren’t going to run out of power and end up stranded on the side of the road or stuck waiting at a charging station. Hybrid cars have the ability to drive even with no electric motor power, so you can simply stop at the nearest gas station, fill up the tank and make your way home to recharge.

The future of all-electric cars

All-electric cars may be the more popular option in the future, but after all, we did think that turbine-powered cars would be the future too. The range for electric motors is improving year after year, with many cars getting as much as 250+ miles on a single charge. To get that type of range sometimes means spending thousands of dollars extra to get the long-range package as you see on the Tesla Model X.

An electric Ford Mustang Mach-E is seen at the 2020 New England Auto Show Press Preview
The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E | Paul Marotta/Getty Images

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Getting comfortable in a world that might be ruled by all-electric cars one day will take many consumers time to adjust, but buying a hybrid doesn’t have to seem as intimidating. Until all-electric cars become more popular, more affordable, and more reliable, maybe buying a hybrid is the right move.