Electric vs Hybrid: Cost Comparison

Written by AMT Team

5 December, 2019

Electric vehicles and hybrid cars are growing in popularity, with more manufacturers planning to offer an all-electric model over the next few years. For example, Volkswagen plans to offer an electrified version of every single model in its range by 2030, while Ford also showcased its sustainable vision for the future at the Go Further event earlier this year. Despite this popularity, some drivers are reluctant to invest in a hybrid or electric car due to the perceived expense compared to conventionally fuelled vehicles.

However, the wider availability of EVs has led to a broader spectrum of prices, which in turn has lead to a steady increase in sales. Currently, forward-thinking manufacturers like Toyota, Mitubishi and Hyundai are leading the way when it comes to new registrations in the UK over the last year.

 

Leading Models

Number of New Registrations

Toyota Yaris

16,732

Toyota C-HR

15,856

Mitsubishi Outlander

8,701

Hyundai Ioniq

7,996

Toyota RAV4

6,917

The reality is, an electric or hybrid model can be a great investment if alternative fuel suits your driving needs and lifestyle. But is there a price difference between each when it comes to fuel, maintenance, incentives or purchase price? Our handy guide provides a cost comparison of hybrid vs electric cars, to help you decide which alternative fuel is right for you.

Hybrid vs electric cars: what’s the difference?

If you’re thinking of investing in an ultra-low emission vehicle rather than a conventional petrol or diesel model, there’s plenty of choice. Generally, electric cars fit into three categories: battery electric vehicles (BEV), plug-in hybrids (PHEV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). Which will be best for you depends on the range, recharging and handling your lifestyle demands. Generally, pure electric vehicles have a range up to 400 miles on a single charge, whereas plug-in hybrids extend this via the use of conventional fuels.

If you’re looking for a model with the lowest emissions possible, you can’t get much greener than an all-electric vehicle. Plug-in hybrid emissions are also generally low, but the overall efficiency generally depends on how often it’s charged. To find out more about the cars with the best fuel economy, check out our blog here

Hybrid vs electric cars: cost comparison

Both hybrid and electric cars utilise batteries and therefore operate more efficiently and economically than their conventionally-powered counterparts in the long term. However, it’s important to note that both hybrid and electric cars are more expensive to buy outright due to their new technology and high specifications. There are also some cost differences between the two eco-friendly options that you should take into account, including:

Cost of fuel

One major difference between electric and hybrid vehicles is their fuel type. Both utilise an electric battery that needs to be charged in order to operate. This often requires the installation of a charger, the cost of which can be supplemented by a government grant. Generally, for a typical electric car with a 60kWh battery, the charging costs at home, work and other public locations are:

Charging location

Cost 

Home

£8.40 for a full charge

Work

Free at most workplaces

Public locations

Free at supermarkets or car parks

Rapid chargers

£6.50 for 30 minutes

Charging at home is best done with a dedicated home chargepoint to avoid any electrical issues, which is supplemented with a one-off government OLEV grant of £279. This consists of a universal socket that is compatible with all electric cars and a cable. There may also be other options available depending on the vehicle make.


This makes both electric and hybrid cars cheaper to run than petrol or diesel as they can be fuelled for free at public charge points, with hybrid cars using up to 30% less fuel per mile than conventional fuel-powered vehicles. However, because hybrids (PHEV and HEV) still require petrol, they end up slightly more expensive to fuel than their all-electric counterparts.

Cost of maintenance

Aside from paying for fuel, there are other costs associated with EV or hybrid car ownership. Hybrids generally run into many of the same maintenance issues that conventional petrol cars experience, including transmission and engine issues. In comparison, electric vehicles avoid the cost associated with combustion engines but do still require maintenance in the form of tyre changes and structural damage. With that in mind, although hybrid vehicles cost less to maintain than conventional fuelled cars, they generally cost more than electric models.

All alternative fuelled cars are subject to battery degradation, which can be quite costly to rectify. If you’re still within your car’s battery warranty period and your battery degrades past the guaranteed point, you’ll be covered for the cost of a replacement unit. Most owners won’t have to worry about paying to replace their car battery as manufacturer warranties are very generous (both the Nissan Leaf and Tesla Model X is covered for 8 years), it’s still a cost worth bearing in mind. 

Cost of value and depreciation

Ultra-low emission vehicles are on the rise, meaning quite a few will be flowing into the second-hand market in the next few years. That means now is probably the best time to buy, as the price of electric and hybrid models will rise as used car buyers realise how in-demand they are. On average, a new car will have a residual value of around 40% of its retail price after three years, as it will start losing money as soon as it’s driven off the lot. When they first hit the market, electric cars saw big dips in residual values, as the market was small and the technology new.

However, both electric and hybrid vehicles have started to hold their value better as the market expands. According to a recent study from Toyota, the resale value on hybrid models is notably higher than electric vehicles – however, this really depends on the make and model. 

In summary...

When it comes to government incentives and grants, both electric and hybrid models have rebates that work to offset the typically higher cost of an alternative fuelled vehicle. All in all, the decision has to be based on whether an all-electric or hybrid alternative would suit your lifestyle and budget – there’s no right or wrong when it comes to choosing an eco-friendly car. 


At AMT, we’re committed to providing a quality service that’s bespoke to you. If you are looking for a new electric vehicle or want to know more about hybrid models, contact our dedicated team today to discuss your requirements on 0113 387 4241.

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