The Difference Between Hybrid And Electric Cars Explained

Difference Between Hybrid And Electric Vehicles

Shop Hybrid & Electric

When shopping for an eco-friendly vehicle, you’ll likely want to compare hybrid vs. electric cars. Let our expert team at Quantrell Cadillac help you. After you’ve learned how electric vs. hybrid vehicles operate, you should see how they drive. Our advisors will be happy to hand over the key fob to a Cadillac LYRIQ and help you experience their handling and advanced features.


Understanding the Difference Between Hybrid and Electric Cars

At its root, picking between hybrid cars vs. electric cars comes down to how much you still want to rely on gas. All-electric models don’t utilize gasoline at all. Instead, you can charge your vehicle from home or a DC fast charging station to enjoy several hundred miles of range. No more rerouting your commute to or from work to stop by the gas station, and no more having to keep an eye on fluctuating gas prices.

Hybrid models still require gasoline. Some of them – known as plug-in hybrid models or PHEVs – need to be plugged in, as well. Other hybrids refill their battery themselves, utilizing concepts like regenerative braking technology.

When it comes to performance, electric models can also be smoother and accelerate faster than a non-PHEV hybrid.

Understanding the Difference Between Hybrid and Electric Cars

What Is the Difference Between a Hybrid and a Plug-In Hybrid?

When comparing a hybrid vs. plug-in hybrid (PHEV) model, there are a few major differences. A hybrid fully relies on itself to refill its battery by generating power through systems like regenerative braking. Basically, it automatically stores kinetic energy gathered when you stop or slow down. Its battery then passively improves your fuel economy by using this stored energy when your vehicle is moving again.

A plug-in hybrid has to do exactly that to refill its battery: be plugged in. However, its larger battery comes with unique advantages. These vehicles have a limited all-electric range, meaning some people can go through their entire daily routine without using any gasoline or making any emissions at all. As a general rule, PHEVs are typically more expensive than regular hybrids. However, that cost will be offset by the money you’ll save on gas. Even when you are using gasoline, the work of the engine and motors combined can dramatically improve your efficiency.


Learn What Separates an EV vs. a Plug-In Hybrid

Learn What Separates an EV vs. a Plug-In Hybrid

A plug-in hybrid is the middle ground between hybrid vs. electric cars. A plug-in hybrid vehicle can run on gas (like a hybrid) or entirely on electric power (like an electric vehicle or EV). You have to charge it, similar to an electric model, but not for as long as you would an EV.

A plug-in hybrid doesn’t completely erase your carbon footprint, as it still creates harmful emissions when it uses gasoline, and it doesn’t have nearly the same all-electric range as an EV, which can go hundreds of miles without gas.

There are also maintenance differences to consider. Electric vehicles don’t have a traditional engine. They rely on motors. Without an engine, there is no need for oil changes and no risk of engine failure. Maintenance, in general, is often simplified. Hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles still rely on an engine, so oil changes will still be essential.


Charging Levels Make a Difference With EV vs. Plug-In Hybrids

While some hybrid models don’t require manual charging, plug-in hybrids and EVs do. Many models come with a Level 1 charger that you can use in your home outlet, but it will only add a couple of miles of range per hour. This method is most often used when visiting someone else who might not have a Level 2 charger at their place of residence. Installing a Level 2 charger in one’s home immensely decreases charge times.

Finally, there is Level 3 charging. This is a method that can be used for all-electric vehicles and a few rare plug-in hybrids. These can often be found in public areas, like gas stations, and they can have most – if not all – of your range replenished in under an hour. The Cadillac LYRIQ can add 77 miles of range at one of these in about 10 minutes.1 You can also opt for the EVgo Credit Offer if you purchase this electric SUV. It gives you two years of unlimited charging at qualifying stations.2 Talk to our team to learn more.


Should You Buy an Electric or Hybrid SUV?

The choice to go with an electric or hybrid SUV depends on where you live and how you use your vehicle. Those who are used to taking long road trips to more obscure areas where there might not be an electric charging station may prefer the reassurance of a gasoline-using hybrid. However, the Cadillac LYRIQ has an EPA-estimated 314 miles of range3 to help you make those cross-country trips with confidence. That, combined with the freedom from oil changes, can make it easy to fall in love with an all-electric model.

You are taking steps toward saving the planet with either of these options, leaving the choice of how emission-free you want to be in your hands. Contact us today to get paired with a vehicle you’ll be eager to drive every morning.

Should You Buy an Electric or Hybrid SUV?

Find a Sustainable Vehicle at Quantrell Cadillac

Once you come to a decision in the hybrid vs. electric cars debate, stop by our dealership. We have all-electric models, like the Cadillac LYRIQ and the soon-to-appear Cadillac Escalade IQ. We may also have a range of pre-owned hybrids for you to explore, like a used Cadillac Escalade Hybrid or even models from other makers. Our team here at Quantrell Cadillac can go more in-depth about any of the vehicles on our lot so that you can find the model of your dreams.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between hybrid and electric cars?

When comparing EV vs. hybrid cars, the difference comes down to how much gas they use. Electric models rely purely on their battery-and-motor system to propel them forward. Hybrid vehicles still rely on a gasoline engine, but have their fuel efficiency supplemented by battery-and-motor architecture. Without an engine, EVs don’t need oil changes, while hybrid models still do.

What’s the difference between hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars?

Both models utilize a gasoline engine and battery-and-motor setup but in different ways. Traditional hybrids don’t need plugging in. They capture energy as part of the driving process. For example, regenerative braking technology helps them store the kinetic energy that would otherwise be lost as your vehicle stops. PHEVs can use this technology, too, but they also need to be plugged in to fill their larger batteries.

What’s better: hybrid or electric?

The better type of vehicle depends on your lifestyle. In the past, some people preferred hybrids because they wanted to be able to rely on gas if necessary. However, more DC fast charging stations are appearing, making owning an EV easier, especially as the EVs’ ranges have gotten longer. EVs also don’t need oil changes. Talk to our team about other benefits.

Can hybrid cars run on gas only?

Hybrid vehicles can run solely on gasoline. For example, a mild hybrid vehicle typically uses mostly gasoline with some boosted fuel economy from the regenerative braking technology. A plug-in hybrid can let you travel some miles in all-electric mode but will eventually switch to gasoline-only power when its battery is depleted. Many hybrid models have drive modes that let you switch between fuel sources.

Is it cheaper to drive a hybrid or electric car?

Typically, electric cars are more expensive than hybrid models, but you’ll save more in the long term by cutting out gasoline costs and oil change visits. A hybrid car can help reduce gasoline costs but won’t eliminate them. However, the sale price for a hybrid is usually lower than that of an electric car. Meet with our advisors to get more detailed information on the models you’re considering.

Cadillac Reviews In Lexington, KY


1Charging times may vary and are influenced by several factors, including but not limited to outdoor temperature, battery temperature, charging equipment, battery condition, and the overall condition of the vehicle. For precise information on charging times for a specific vehicle model, please contact our dealership.

2As a purchaser or lessee of a new 2024 Cadillac LYRIQ (“Eligible Vehicle”), you are eligible to receive up to two (2) years of complimentary charging (“Complimentary Charging Credit”) on EVgo’s public network of EVgo owned and operated electric vehicle charging stations (the “EVgo Public Network”). In order to utilize the Complimentary Charging Credit, you must have a valid EVgo account. Complimentary charging sessions may be authenticated the EVgo App or an EVgo RFID card.

3EPA estimated. Actual range will vary based on several factors, including temperature, terrain, battery age, loading, use and maintenance.

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