Electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids are gaining in popularity. Many automakers, including Kia, offer at least one or two hybrid models, and more and more brands are offering all-electric vehicles. What’s the difference between an EV and a hybrid? An EV is an all-electric vehicle that uses battery packs and electric motors to power it. A hybrid also uses a battery pack and one or two electric motors for an all-electric driving range but incorporates gasoline or diesel for fuel on long-distance drives.
Which Is Right for Me — An EV or a Hybrid?
Whether an EV or hybrid is right for you depends on your driving needs. All-electric vehicles rely solely on their battery packs and electric motors for power, limiting how far the vehicle can go between charges. Hybrids and plug-in hybrids have shorter all-electric driving ranges but can go farther using gas or diesel fuel.
Hybrids—including mild, series, and plug-in hybrids—have varying all-electric driving ranges but can fall back on their internal combustion engine as needed. An EV emits zero emissions, and the hybrid only emits tailpipe emissions when using gasoline or diesel fuel.
Kia offers two all-electric vehicles: the Niro EV and EV 6. It also offers two hybrid vehicles: the Niro Hybrid and the Sportage Hybrid. You can also get the Niro, Sportage, and Sorento as a plug-in hybrid.
Which Vehicle Fits Your Lifestyle?
If you mainly drive in the city or under 200 to 300 miles, an EV may be a good fit for your lifestyle. All-electric vehicles are quiet, emit zero emissions, and usually cost less to maintain than vehicles that rely on fossil fuels. When considering an EV, it’s essential to know the locations of the charging stations on your route. While you can usually charge your vehicle overnight from your home charging station, you’ll need to recharge it after its dedicated driving range.
A hybrid is a good choice if you mainly drive short distances and only need the internal combustion engine for longer commutes or road trips. You don’t need to plug in a hybrid, as regenerative braking recaptures energy to charge the battery once it’s over its all-electric driving range. While you don’t have to plug the hybrid into a charging station, you’ll need to refuel at the gas station to keep the tank full for when you need to use the internal combustion engine.
Plug-in hybrids also use a combination of electric motors, battery packs, and gasoline or diesel. However, you need to plug them into a charging station to recharge the battery. Because plug-in hybrids have larger battery packs than hybrids, they usually can travel longer distances in all-electric mode. Plug-in hybrids also use regenerative braking to help extend the battery’s range, and the gasoline engine and electric motor switch seamlessly as needed.
If you’re unsure whether an EV or hybrid best suits your driving needs and lifestyle, contact our team at Huffines Kia McKinney. Our professional sales team can guide you on which type of vehicle is best for you.
EV and Hybrid Ranges
Depending on the make and model, driving ranges for EVs range from around 100 to up to 400 miles. Hybrid all-electric driving ranges vary from 20 to 55 miles, and plug-in hybrids have an all-electric driving range from 35 to 65 miles.
EV and Hybrid Costs and More
EVs generally have a higher price tag than hybrids or plug-in hybrids due to the cost of manufacturing the batteries. The larger the battery pack, the more it costs the manufacturer to make, and that expense filters down to you. However, in the long term, you’ll have fewer maintenance expenses with an EV, and you won’t need to pay for gasoline or diesel.
When you have a hybrid or plug-in hybrid, you’ll pay initially less than you would for an EV, but you’ll have about the same maintenance costs as a vehicle that uses gasoline or diesel. You’ll also need to factor in fuel costs for the life of the vehicle.
The MSRP for the Kia Niro EV starts at $39,550, while the Niro Hybrid’s MSRP starts at $26,590. The Kia EV 6 sport crossover has a starting MSRP of $42,600.
The Niro Plug-In Hybrid is in the middle, with a starting MSRP of $33,840. Each auto brand has its own MSRP for its EVs, hybrids, and plug-in hybrids. But you can get a feel for the price difference with the Kia examples.
EV and Hybrid Capabilities
EVs are available as sedans, SUVs, and pickup trucks. You can even find commercial vehicles, such as city buses and transport trucks, that come as EVs. The capability of each depends on the powertrain and drivetrain.
Vehicles with one battery pack and one electric motor are usually front-wheel drive and are perfect for city and highway driving. Electric SUVs with all-wheel drive have increased capabilities and perform better on wet roads or uneven terrain. Some electric pickup trucks even come with four-wheel drive and offer high horsepower and pound-feet of torque ratings, making them perfect for off-road adventures.
Hybrids and plug-in hybrids also range in capability depending on the drivetrain, battery pack, and electric motor combination. For instance, the Kia Sorento hybrid comes with a turbocharged engine and available all-wheel drive, giving you power when you need it and traction for slippery roads or towing. When properly equipped, the Sorento can tow up to 2,000 pounds.
Find the Perfect EV or Hybrid for Your Lifestyle
Our team at Huffines Kia McKinney, Texas, invites you to browse our inventory of new EV vehicles to find the one that best fits your driving needs and lifestyle. You can also learn more about EVs and the ongoing research and development of these important new vehicle types. No matter what type of electrified vehicle you have, our certified service technicians will service and maintain it to keep it running in top condition. In addition, our professional finance team will find the perfect auto loan for you so you can get behind the wheel of your new Kia today.