Cars

Should I buy a Plug-In Hybrid or a full Electric Vehicle?

First time electric car buyers are often torn between buying a plug-in hybrid versus a full EV. For most buyers, going for a full EV makes more sense.

Should I buy a Plug-In Hybrid or a full Electric Vehicle?

In the future, it’s a good bet that your car will be fully electric. Today though, does it make sense to get a Plug-In Hybrid?  A Plug-In Hybrid has both a small battery and a gas tank.  In this article we get into the details that really matter for making this choice.

First, you might be asking yourself - isn’t it better to have the best of both worlds?  A battery to drive quiet, clean and smooth and a gas engine to back that up?  

Here’s why that might not be true: as electric cars advance, their design and architecture is progressively more oriented to the unique advantages of a battery.  By trying to split the difference, you may end up with something that doesn’t offer the best of either.  We believe the best driving experience for most people going forward is going to full electric, full stop.

You also don’t need to compromise on a plug-in hybrid for cost reasons.  For example, the Toyota RAV4 Prime retails for around $38,000.  The fully electric Toyota bZ4X coming in 2022 is expected to be priced in the same range, plus will be applicable for a $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs.

The are few situations when a plug-in hybrid is the better choice

You should consider a plug-in hybrid if it’s truly the right car for you.  That can be true IF you fit the following situation:  

  1. You’re a one-car household and travel frequently to rural areas.  Charging infrastructure is improving fast on highways to make electric road trips increasingly easy, but this build-out will take longer in rural areas.  If you’ve got two vehicles in your household, you can easily use one for those trips to the woods or the mountains.  With just one car, a plug-in hybrid can work well to drive on battery in the city and that gas engine can kick in when you’re out of range of charging. 

    (Road trips on highways?  Much more doable with a full EV - learn more here.)

AND

  1. You’ve got a way to charge at home.  This one might be counter-intuitive, but here’s the logic: if you buy a plug-in hybrid, you’ll be able to fully (or almost fully) recharge the small battery every night with a normal 110V outlet. That means that for daily driving you’ll be able to take full advantage of the battery you paid for.  You might commute every day and never buy gas!


Here’s the most important part: If you can’t charge at home (or work or school), you might have trouble charging at all. Plug-in hybrids generally do not have Fast Charging capability. A RAV4 Prime Plug-in Hybrid takes almost 5 hours to charge even at a public charging station (2.5 hours if you opt for the speediest charging option that’s available).  Compare that to 1 hour or less for fully electric cars with Fast Charging capability. 

It’s tough to leave your plug-in hybrid at a public station for up to 5 hours, so you may find yourself driving on gas all the time.  

Since Link is all about electric cars, why would we tell you not to buy a plug-in hybrid unless you fit this situation?  

We don’t want you to pay for a battery if you’ll never end up using it.  

But more importantly, if you’re not in one of these situations, we’re pretty sure a fully electric car can work for you! Not sure or don’t believe us? A Link EV Expert can discuss your personal situation in an Orientation call or a full Consultation.

Should I buy a Plug-In Hybrid or a full Electric Vehicle?

In the future, it’s a good bet that your car will be fully electric. Today though, does it make sense to get a Plug-In Hybrid?  A Plug-In Hybrid has both a small battery and a gas tank.  In this article we get into the details that really matter for making this choice.

First, you might be asking yourself - isn’t it better to have the best of both worlds?  A battery to drive quiet, clean and smooth and a gas engine to back that up?  

Here’s why that might not be true: as electric cars advance, their design and architecture is progressively more oriented to the unique advantages of a battery.  By trying to split the difference, you may end up with something that doesn’t offer the best of either.  We believe the best driving experience for most people going forward is going to full electric, full stop.

You also don’t need to compromise on a plug-in hybrid for cost reasons.  For example, the Toyota RAV4 Prime retails for around $38,000.  The fully electric Toyota bZ4X coming in 2022 is expected to be priced in the same range, plus will be applicable for a $7,500 federal tax credit for EVs.

The are few situations when a plug-in hybrid is the better choice

You should consider a plug-in hybrid if it’s truly the right car for you.  That can be true IF you fit the following situation:  

  1. You’re a one-car household and travel frequently to rural areas.  Charging infrastructure is improving fast on highways to make electric road trips increasingly easy, but this build-out will take longer in rural areas.  If you’ve got two vehicles in your household, you can easily use one for those trips to the woods or the mountains.  With just one car, a plug-in hybrid can work well to drive on battery in the city and that gas engine can kick in when you’re out of range of charging. 

    (Road trips on highways?  Much more doable with a full EV - learn more here.)

AND

  1. You’ve got a way to charge at home.  This one might be counter-intuitive, but here’s the logic: if you buy a plug-in hybrid, you’ll be able to fully (or almost fully) recharge the small battery every night with a normal 110V outlet. That means that for daily driving you’ll be able to take full advantage of the battery you paid for.  You might commute every day and never buy gas!


Here’s the most important part: If you can’t charge at home (or work or school), you might have trouble charging at all. Plug-in hybrids generally do not have Fast Charging capability. A RAV4 Prime Plug-in Hybrid takes almost 5 hours to charge even at a public charging station (2.5 hours if you opt for the speediest charging option that’s available).  Compare that to 1 hour or less for fully electric cars with Fast Charging capability. 

It’s tough to leave your plug-in hybrid at a public station for up to 5 hours, so you may find yourself driving on gas all the time.  

Since Link is all about electric cars, why would we tell you not to buy a plug-in hybrid unless you fit this situation?  

We don’t want you to pay for a battery if you’ll never end up using it.  

But more importantly, if you’re not in one of these situations, we’re pretty sure a fully electric car can work for you! Not sure or don’t believe us? A Link EV Expert can discuss your personal situation in an Orientation call or a full Consultation.

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