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What's the difference between electric and hybrid cars?

  • What's the difference between electric and hybrid cars?

Owning an electric car is no longer the niche lifestyle choice that it once was; in fact, it’s the widely accepted future of motoring. Whilst the number of green-bordered registration plates on the road multiplies by the year, so does the amount of choice available on the electric market - or so it feels! 

The choice between a fully electric car and a hybrid vehicle is one of the first you’ll have to make in your electric motoring journey; but what’s the difference? 

What is a hybrid vehicle? 

A hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) blends your traditional combustion engine with the benefits of battery power, generally producing less CO2 emissions than pure petrol and diesel cars. 

These vehicles are commonly known as self-charging hybrids, as the car can be powered by the battery on its own, and then use petrol while it recharges. This is known as regenerative charging, as it happens through braking and accelerating. 

Benefits of HEVs

  • No plug-in needed, so no charging points to install 
  • Better fuel economy 
  • Lower carbon emissions than conventional engines  
  • What is a plug-in hybrid vehicle? 

PHEV’s (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) again uses both a battery and a fuel engine to power the wheels. However, unlike HEVs, the battery is replenished via a plug-in charging point and not through regenerative charging. 

These vehicles tend to have bigger batteries and can therefore go for longer at higher speeds than their self-charging counterparts. 

Benefits of PHEVS

  • Larger batteries than HEVs
  • Longer range than a fully electric vehicle
  • Ideal for around-town driving 

What is a fully electric vehicle? 

A fully electric vehicle (EV) does what it says on the tin - it’s powered purely by a battery! With no combustion engine under the bonnet, there’s more room for a big battery, keeping you on the road with zero emissions. 

As you’d expect, each EV comes with a mileage range that it can achieve on a single charge, and the energy within the battery is replenished via a home or public charging point.

Benefits of EVs

  • Zero CO2 emissions
  • With no fuel engine, there’s less to go wrong 
  • Lower running costs 

Looking for electric vehicle warranty? 

At Warranty First, we protect your battery-powered vehicle with the back up of a warranty, getting you back on the road ASAP if something goes wrong. Find out more at