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Would you choose a hybrid vehicle (gas & electric) or a totally electric vehicle?
I'd choose hybrid for now. The 100% electric vehicle's range scares me at the moment.
I'd go with the hybrid too - that is until the 100% electric has been tested and tried for something like 40 years. I like the idea of a plan B at hand and within reach all the time. Better safe than sorry in the dead of the night when you need lights besides power to the engine.
I would have to do a side by side comparison that features the areas that are important to me e.g.
- CO2 per mile (EIther from burning fueld and/or generating electrictiy to charge the vehicle)
- Resources used to put the car together (Environmental responsibility?)
- Total cost of ownership for the car (Insurance, maintenance, tax etc.)
- Fuel running costs (Both gas and electric)
- Convenience factors (Speed, total range, MPG, accessibility of charging points)
- Who manufactured the car and their corporate responsibility
Once you've got an idea of these factors, you can make a side by side comparison and a more informed choice.
From a mechanic's prosepective, I wouldn't buy either. Initial purchase price is too high relative to their gas counterpart and the long term maintenance overhead (proprietary replacement parts cost) makes long term ownership cost/savings benefit questionable.
I guess it would depend on how I was going to use the car. If I was buying it as a second car, only to be used for short commutes and local driving, the totally electric would be the way to go. If on the other hand, I was buying a primary vehicle to be used for everything, including long trips, I would have to go with the hybrid to have the range.
All electric vehicles have their place I guess but I don't think they will ever be practical for long range. They just don't go far enough on a charge and then it takes too long to charge them up again. Plus the fact that their aren't very many charging stations out there, so you're pretty limited on where you can go.
The other factors that keep me from buying either though are that there are conventional cars that are nearing the mpg of the hybrids and I'm not convinced that the battery issue is worth dealing with. I tend to keep a car for a long time and I don't know how long the batteries last before they have to be replaced and I assume it would be quite expensive. Also, what is the environmental impact of all these used up batteries? Are the chemicals, metals and processes used to create and then recycle all the batteries used in the electric and hybrid cars really less than the impact of a conventional car? I guess I'd have to check into it more before I decided to buy either type.
Hybrids have all the maintenance and potential failure modes of a conventional vehicle plus additional complexity from the hybrid battery and recharging system.
A 100% electric vehicle is the way to go if you can live with limited range. I think more 100% electric vehicles to choose from with longer range are on the way soon.
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