What’s the Difference Between an Electric Car and a Plug-in Hybrid?

October 10th, 2022 by

An all-electric vehicle runs entirely on electric battery power. A plug-in hybrid car can operate on fully electric power for a short time, but also runs on gas for longer distances. The electric driving range on a fully electric vehicle is typically much higher than that of a plug-in hybrid.

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The terminology surrounding electric vehicles is new and can often be confusing to those unfamiliar with it. There are three general categories of electric vehicles: fully electric, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid.

When people think of electric vehicles, they typically think of either fully electric or plug-in hybrids. If you are considering buying your first electric car, you may be wondering about the differences between an electric car vs. a plug-in hybrid. Here are the key differences you should know about when comparing these vehicle types.

Different Categories of Electric Cars

Fully ElectricA front view of the new Mercedes-Benz EQS LEV

A fully electric car is, in many ways, the definitive electric vehicle. This category of electric cars runs on 100% electric energy, with zero reliance on gas. Fully electric cars never need to stop at a gas station and have the smallest carbon footprint of any car type on the road.

These electric cars have a much higher battery range than plug-in hybrids. Most of the best electric cars have a fully electric range of between 150-300 miles. Some models get up to and above 350 miles.

Range anxiety” is one of the biggest concerns for consumers looking to buy their first electric car. This refers to the fear of the electric car’s battery running out of charge while on the road. However, both battery technology and the availability of charging stations have been improving dramatically in recent years. Many public Level 2 and 3 charging stations can now be found in and around most major population centers in the U.S., with cities being the most EV-friendly regions.

Fully electric cars typically come with the highest upfront cost. But EV owners also save money by spending nothing on gas and saving on the cost of maintenance. New EV owners are also eligible for a $7500 federal tax exemption when they buy an electric car.

Plug-in HybridLexus NX Hybrid Luxury Electric Vehicle

A plug-in hybrid is a middle ground between a traditional gas engine car and a fully electric car. Plug-in hybrids can operate on either an electric battery or on gas. However, the range on a plug-in hybrid’s battery is typically much less than that of an all-electric vehicle. Most plug-in hybrids have an all-electric range of 25-40 miles.

When they are not running on electric power, plug-in hybrids can still run on gas like a traditional car. While less environmentally friendly than fully electric cars, plug-in hybrids are still highly efficient. Many drivers can make their daily commute without needing to switch out of electric driving mode in a plug-in hybrid.

The price tag on plug-in hybrids can vary greatly. Most models are in between the cost of a fully electric car and a traditional gas engine car. The long-term savings with a plug-in hybrid are less than that of a fully electric car. However, you will spend less on gas when you drive a plug-in hybrid.

Best Luxury Electric Vehicles

There are many great electric car models, both fully electric and plug-in hybrids, available in 2022. Luxury brands like Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, and even Land Rover have joined the EV market in exciting and innovative ways.

Among the best luxury electric cars available are the Mercedes-Benz EQS, which has a range of 350 miles, and the BMW iX, with a range of 324 miles.

Ray Catena Auto Group is the tri-state area’s expert on LEVs. Learn more about plug-in hybrid vehicles or contact us today to see how you can get started in a luxury electric car.

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