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Electric vs Hybrid: Which is the better choice for you?

One must also consider that mining for lithium batteries that power these vehicles also has a negative environmental impact

Update : 26 May 2024, 09:18 PM

As automotive technology changes at a rapid speed, the debate between electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid vehicles (HVs) continues to capture the interest of environmentally conscious consumers. 

Governments around the world push for greener alternatives and advancements in technology make sustainable options more viable, choosing the right vehicle has become a critical decision for many. 

This article delves into the key differences between electric and hybrid vehicles, helping you determine which might be the better choice for your needs.

Understanding the basics

Electric Vehicles (EVs): EVs are powered entirely by electricity. They store energy in batteries that can be charged via external power sources, such as home charging units or public charging stations. EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions, making them a highly attractive option for reducing carbon footprints.

Hybrid vehicles (HVs): Hybrids combine a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) with an electric motor and battery. There are two main types of hybrids: conventional hybrids (HEVs), which use the electric motor to assist the engine, and plug-in hybrids (PHEVs), which can be charged externally and operate on electric power alone for shorter distances before the gasoline engine takes over.

Environmental impact

One of the primary reasons consumers consider EVs and hybrids is the environmental benefit. EVs have a significant edge in this department due to their zero emissions during operation. By relying solely on electricity, EVs help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.

But one must also consider that mining for lithium batteries that power these vehicles also has a negative environmental impact. 

According to a report by MIT's Climate Lab, one ton of mined lithium emits nearly 15 tons of CO2. According to the same report, burning the fossil fuels required to manufacture lithium or EV batteries contributes to high levels of CO2 emissions.


Hybrids, while not as clean as EVs, still offer substantial environmental benefits over traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. PHEVs, in particular, can run on electric power for shorter commutes, significantly reducing emissions. However, the presence of an ICE means hybrids will always produce some level of emissions.

Cost considerations

Upfront costs: Generally, EVs have higher upfront costs compared to hybrids, primarily due to the expensive battery technology. However, prices are gradually decreasing as technology improves and economies of scale come into play.

Operating costs: EVs shine in terms of operating costs. Electricity is cheaper than gasoline, and EVs have fewer moving parts, leading to lower maintenance costs. There's no need for oil changes, and brake wear is minimized thanks to regenerative braking systems.

Hybrids, on the other hand, can have lower initial costs than EVs but might incur higher operating expenses due to fuel costs and more frequent maintenance requirements for the ICE components.

Range and charging infrastructure

Range anxiety: One of the main concerns for potential EV buyers is range anxiety—the fear of running out of battery before reaching a charging station. Modern EVs offer ranges that are more than sufficient for daily commuting and even longer trips, but the availability of charging infrastructure can still be a limiting factor.

Charging time: Charging an EV can take anywhere from 30 minutes at a fast-charging station to several hours with a standard home charger. This can be inconvenient compared to the quick refuelling of a hybrid at any gas station.

Hybrids do not suffer from range anxiety since they can switch to gasoline when the battery is depleted, offering the flexibility of long-distance travel without the need for frequent stops to recharge.


Driving experience

EVs are known for their smooth and quiet operation, delivering instant torque that provides rapid acceleration. The lack of engine noise and vibrations offers a serene driving experience.

Hybrids, while quieter and smoother than conventional cars, still rely on the ICE for extended power, which means they can't match the completely silent operation of EVs. However, the transition between electric and gasoline power in modern hybrids is often seamless and barely noticeable.

Incentives and future resale value

Governments worldwide are offering incentives, which might soon be implemented in Bangladesh too, in order to encourage the adoption of EVs, including tax credits, rebates, and exemptions from certain fees. These incentives can significantly offset the higher initial cost of EVs.

Resale value is another consideration. As EV technology continues to improve and charging infrastructure expands, the resale value of EVs is expected to hold up well. Hybrids, while still enjoying decent resale value, might not appreciate as much as pure EVs in the future market leaning towards full electrification.

Which one is right for you?

Choosing between an electric and a hybrid vehicle depends on your specific needs and circumstances:

If your primary goal is to minimize your carbon footprint, an EV is a superior choice, but if you are concerned about long-term savings and can afford the initial investment, EVs offer lower operating costs.

On the other hand, if you frequently take long trips or live in an area with limited charging infrastructure, a hybrid might be more practical and if you prefer a quiet and smooth ride with instant acceleration, EVs will likely be more satisfying.

Ultimately, both electric and hybrid vehicles offer significant advantages over traditional gasoline-powered cars. Your decision should balance environmental goals, financial considerations, and practical needs to determine the best fit for your lifestyle.

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