Hybrid vs electric vehicles

12 minute read Published on Dec 31, 2023 by BrokerLink Communications

Human hands holding electric plug and gasoline nozzle against one another

If you’re interested in buying a new car, one of the first decisions you will need to make is what kind of car to buy. There are three main types of vehicles available today: gas cars, hybrid cars, and electric cars. The debate between hybrid vs gas cars is nothing new, but with the invention of electric cars, a whole other conversation around fuel efficient cars has begun.

Today, we discuss the key differences between hybrid and electric cars to help you choose the right one for your needs.

Hybrid vs. electric cars: power sources

Perhaps the largest difference between hybrid cars and electric cars is how they are powered. Where hybrid cars are powered jointly by the car’s engine, as well as an electric motor, electric cars are powered solely by the electric motor.

For example, a hybrid Toyota Prius contains both a small engine and an electric car battery. Both work together to power the car. Depending on the type of hybrid being driven, the engine and electric battery may share the work fairly evenly or the electric battery may do the brunt of the work with the engine only stepping in during emergencies.

Since hybrids have two sources of power, they still rely on gas or diesel. That said, they emit far fewer emissions than traditional gas-powered vehicles.

In contrast, electric cars run on an electric battery. Fully electric vehicles, such as Tesla cars, operate by receiving energy from the charged battery and converting it into power for the electric motor. Once power has been generated, it is distributed directly to the wheels.

Further, since electric vehicles do not have a combustion engine, they do not rely on gas or diesel. Rather, the battery needs to be charged using electricity. This results in zero gas emissions, making them extremely eco-friendly and economical. They are also convenient, as they can be charged in your home if you have a charging station installed.

Rapid charging stations are also available for public use, and they are powerful enough to charge an electric car battery in as little as 15 minutes. If you want to know how far an electric car can go or how long it holds its charge, contact BrokerLink.

Hybrid vs. electric cars: cost

Another key comparison to make between hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles is the cost. The reality is that there are many hidden costs of owning an electric car as well as a hybrid car. These added costs can lead many to wonder, Is an electric car worth it?

In our opinion, these hidden costs don’t have to stay hidden. If you do the necessary research, you will quickly discover several other fees to account for when budgeting for a new hybrid or electric vehicle. Continue reading for a breakdown of some of these costs.

First, the cost of an electric car is typically greater than that of a hybrid car, perhaps as much as $10,000 to $20,0000 more. That said, more and more automakers are coming out with electric cars. Many have stated that they do not intend to continue producing gas-powered vehicles or even hybrid vehicles in the future. Thus, although the average electric car is currently more expensive than the average hybrid vehicle, this could change as EVs become more popular.

It is also important to note that when you buy a hybrid car, you still have to pay for gas. Although you will be buying far less gas than you would with a traditional gas-powered vehicle, this is still an additional cost that you won’t have with an electric car. Another hidden cost to consider with an electric car is the cost of installing a charging station in your home. Depending on the existing electrical infrastructure in your home, a professional electrician may need to be hired to reroute wires in your home and install the charger for you, which can cost money in addition to your monthly electric bills going up.

Finally, car insurance is another cost you will incur whether you buy a hybrid or an electric car. Hybrid car insurance and electric car insurance are legal requirements no matter where you live in Canada.

You can find out how much a policy will cost you by contacting BrokerLink for a free car insurance quote. There are various types of auto insurance endorsements that you may be interested in adding to your electric or hybrid car insurance plan, like accident forgiveness, comprehensive coverage, collision coverage, and more.

Hybrid vs. electric cars: maintenance

Maintenance is yet another factor worth considering when deciding between a hybrid vehicle and an electric vehicle. You might think that hybrid and electric car maintenance is the same, but there are a few key differences.

First, there is always a chance that you will need to replace the battery in your car. Hybrid car batteries are far cheaper than electric car batteries - typically anywhere between $4,000 and $15,000 cheaper. This is a huge price discrepancy.

Electric car batteries are also known to have shorter lifespans than other types of car batteries. That said, as electric cars become more common, it is likely that the cost of electric car batteries will go down.

Further, many electric cars come with battery warranties. If the battery significantly deteriorates or breaks down in the first eight to ten years of owning the car, the manufacturer may pay to replace it.

Beyond battery replacements, general maintenance costs for hybrid and electric cars may be slightly more expensive than with traditional gas-powered cars since they are less common and thus their parts are usually more expensive. It might also be harder to find an auto body shop or licensed mechanic with experience servicing your vehicle model.

Hybrid vs. electric cars: tax credits and incentives

There are a number of tax credits and incentives that come with purchasing electric cars and certain types of hybrid cars in Canada. Between the federal government, provincial governments, and municipal governments, there are a number of incentives to motivate drivers to purchase electric and hybrid vehicles.

Typically, electric cars garner bigger incentives than hybrid cars. For instance, Transport Canada offers up to $5,000 in incentives for fully electric cars, whereas they only offer up to $2,500 for plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs). Research the other government incentives that may be available in your province or city.

In addition, many insurance companies offer discounts to those who drive eco-friendly vehicles. This means that you could qualify for cheaper Toronto car insurance rates simply by driving a hybrid or electric car.

Hybrid vs. electric cars: auto insurance

Auto insurance is another consideration when debating between a hybrid car and an electric car. No matter what type of car you choose to buy in Canada, you will need a car insurance policy in order to drive it. Each Canadian province and territory has its own minimum coverage requirements that all drivers must comply with. In Ontario, there are four types of coverage that are mandatory and they are:

If you do not purchase a policy that contains the four types of coverage above and choose to drive anyway, you will be in breach of the law. If caught, you could face fines of up to $50,000, a 25% surcharge applied to any fine levies, the impoundment of your vehicle, and the suspension of your driver’s licence.

Thus, getting caught and fined a single time for driving uninsured would likely cost you far more than a policy ever would. For help purchasing a hybrid or electric car insurance policy, contact BrokerLink today.

In the meantime, continue reading for a breakdown of a few types of coverage - some of which are mandatory in Ontario and some of which are optional - that may be worthwhile for your hybrid or electric vehicle.

Third party liability coverage

Third party liability coverage will pay for the cost of an accident if you caused an accident. For instance, if you are found liable for a collision that resulted in property damage or bodily harm, it is the liability portion of your policy that can pay for costs like legal fees, medical expenses, and vehicle repair bills.

Accident benefits coverage

Accident benefits coverage can pay for the costs associated with a bodily injury if someone is injured in a car accident. Whether it was the policyholder who sustained the injury or someone else, such as a passenger or pedestrian, accident benefits can be claimed. Specifically, this type of coverage can pay for medical fees not covered by health insurance, such as prescription medication, as well as funeral fees and lost income.

Direct compensation

Under the direct compensation portion of your hybrid or electric car insurance plan, you can receive a direct payout from your insurance company if your car is damaged in an accident that you did not cause. The payout can then be used to help cover the cost of repairs.

Uninsured automobile coverage

Uninsured automobile coverage can pay for the cost of a car accident if you get into an accident with an at-fault driver who does not have adequate insurance. This could mean they do not have any insurance at all, they do not have enough insurance to cover the cost of the accident, or that you do not know the driver’s identity because they fled the scene of the accident. Thus, uninsured automobile coverage also covers drivers against hit and runs.

Collision coverage

Collision car coverage can pay for the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle if it suffers extreme damage in an accident. For example, if your car collides with another vehicle, an animal, a pedestrian, or a grounded object on the road, no matter if you caused the accident or not, collision coverage can help pay to cover the cost of repairs.

Comprehensive coverage

Comprehensive car coverage will pay to repair or replace your car if it is damaged while parked. Specifically, if your hybrid or electric vehicle is damaged due to a peril listed in your policy, your insurer will issue a payout to cover the associated costs.

For instance, if your brand-new EV is stolen out of your driveway, comprehensive coverage can reimburse you for the cost of buying a new one, less your deductible and up to the coverage limit. Further, if a tree fell on your car in the middle of the night, comprehensive car insurance may also pay to repair your car.

Other perils that comprehensive insurance may cover policyholders for include theft, vandalism, fire, water, falling and flying objects, explosions and riots, and weather-related incidents.

Accident forgiveness coverage

One more type of optional car insurance coverage popular among drivers is accident forgiveness. Accident forgiveness is additional coverage that can be added to your car insurance policy as an endorsement, to protect your driving record and to help prevent your insurance premium from increasing if you have an at-fault accident claim. Note: coverage and eligibility varies by province.

Loss of use coverage

Loss of use coverage can pay for you to get around while your car is being repaired. If your car is damaged in a collision and needs to be serviced by a mechanic for a few days, loss of use coverage will reimburse you for the cost of taking other modes of transportation during this time. Modes of transportation you may be covered for include renting a car, taking public transit, or hiring ride shares or taxis.

The pros and cons of hybrid vehicles

Considering everything above, what are the pros and cons of hybrid vehicles? Check them out below:


Hybrid vehicles are environmentally friendly

Hybrid cars are an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional gas-powered vehicles. This makes them a great choice for anyone who is looking to reduce their carbon footprint but is hesitant to move to a fully electric car. Despite the fact that they still run partially on gas, they still use far less gas than the average gas-powered vehicle.

Hybrid vehicles are less expensive than electric vehicles

Hybrid vehicles are relatively inexpensive, especially when compared to electric vehicles. They are cheaper to maintain and cheaper to buy. You’ll also get to buy much less gas than you used to with a gas-powered vehicle.


Greater upfront costs

One con of hybrid vehicles is that, while cheaper than electric vehicles, they still tend to be more expensive than the average gas-powered car. This is due to the more advanced technology they contain and the more limited supply on the market.

Higher maintenance costs than traditional cars

A second con of hybrid cars is that when compared to traditional gas-powered vehicles, the maintenance costs are higher. This is due to the fact that the parts cost more and servicing them may require more expertise on behalf of the mechanic, which could mean higher rates.

Gas emissions

One last con of hybrid cars is the gas emissions. Although they are better for the environment than the average gas-powered car, they still run partially on gas, which means they are emitting greenhouse gas emissions. If you truly want to reduce your carbon footprint, going all-electric is the better option.

The pros and cons of electric vehicles

Now, let’s dive into the pros and cons of electric vehicles:


Zero emissions

The first, most obvious pro of electric cars is that they come with zero emissions. They do not run on gas, which translates to no greenhouse gas emissions. If you care about going green, an electric car might make sense for you.

Better government incentives

While the Canadian government, along with several provincial and municipal governments in Canada, offer incentives to those who drive hybrid and electric vehicles, the incentives for EVs tend to be greater.

No more gas

One last pro of electric vehicles is that they do not run on gas, which means no more having to pay for fuel or fill up at the gas station. EV batteries are charged using electricity, which means they can conveniently be powered up in your home.


Shorter range

Meanwhile, a con of electric cars is that they have a shorter range than hybrid or gas-powered cars. An electric car’s range refers to the distance it can travel before needing to be recharged. The average electric car has a range of between 200 and 300 miles, while luxury EVs with the latest technology may have ranges of up to 500 miles. Depending on the length of your daily commute or whether you frequently take road trips, this shorter range could be quite inconvenient.

Price tag

A second con of electric cars is that they are more expensive than hybrid and gas-powered cars. They are currently the most expensive type of car on the market. Not only does it cost more to buy the car but vehicle maintenance on electric cars also tends to be higher. For instance, the cost of replacing an electric car battery can be triple the cost of replacing a regular car battery.

Charging time

One final con of electric cars is the fact that they take time to charge. Filling a car up with gas takes under five minutes. However, depending on the type of electric car charger being used, charging your electric car battery from empty to full can take between eight and twelve hours. That said, there are many public charging stations that use higher voltages to charge electric cars in as little as 15 or 30 minutes.

Contact BrokerLink for your hybrid and electric car insurance

If you want to continue discussing and comparing hybrid and electric cars, contact BrokerLink today. We are a team of automotive experts who can help you choose between buying a hybrid car and buying an electric car. From there, we can also help you insure it. Having the proper car insurance for your new hybrid or electric vehicle matters. Thanks to our extensive resources and history in the auto insurance industry, you can trust us to have your best interests at heart. Any one of our licensed insurance brokers will be able to explain how mandatory coverage works and ensure that the policy you choose is competitive and does not break the bank. We can also give you tips on how you can save on hybrid or electric car insurance, such as by bundling home and auto policies, installing winter tires on your car, graduating from an approved driver’s education program in your province, or by buying multiple auto insurance policies. Contact BrokerLink for free car insurance quotes today.

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