Hybrid vs. Non-Hybrid Vehicles: What’s the Difference?
“What is a hybrid car?” The answer might not be quite as straightforward as you think. You have normal hybrids, then you have plug-ins like the Clarity Plug-In and electric vehicles like the Clarity Electric.
To help you grasp the basic differences, let’s go over:
- Difference between Hybrids and Non-Hybrids
- Difference between Hybrids and Plug-In Hybrids
- Difference between Hybrids and Electric Cars
Difference Between Hybrids and Non-Hybrids
Comparing hybrid vs. non-hybrid is relatively easy. A traditionally powered vehicle uses only a gasoline or diesel engine. In a hybrid, that engine is retained, but it is supplemented by an electric motor. A complex system of electronic and mechanical controls uses the engine and motor to ensure an optimal blend of performance and efficiency.
As such, a hybrid model will boast stronger efficiency scores than its traditional alternative. For example, the Honda Accord Hybrid is more efficient than the standard Honda Accord and produces fewer emissions, though typical Honda Accord performance remains strong.
Difference Between Hybrids and Plug-In Hybrids
A plug-in hybrid also uses an electric motor and gas engine, but plug-in hybrids make the electric motor the main power source. The engine is mainly used to complement the motor. You can think of the plug-in hybrid as an electric vehicle that can also use gasoline to extend its range.
The other main difference is that plug-in hybrids, as their name implies, are powered from the grid. A conventional hybrid generates its own charge.
Difference Between Hybrids and Electric Cars
Finally, we come to the electric vehicle. Now, hybrids also use electricity, but an electric vehicle can be considered an all-electric alternative. There is no gasoline engine — the vehicle is run entirely from its battery pack.
People are often turned off by the fact that you’ll be left stranded if the vehicle runs out of power between Naperville and Aurora or Chicago and Plainfield — this is called Range Anxiety — but keep in mind that electric vehicles have more room for batteries since the gasoline engine doesn’t need to be included. This gives them a longer all-electric range than plug-in hybrids.