Electric Cars vs. Hybrid: Which Is More Eco-Friendly?

Preservation of the environment has become one of the most concerned subjects in the present day. With the potential increase in global warming and drastic changes in the climate as a consequence, the manufacturers across the globe are compelled to take measures to improve their product designs and performance approach.

This has ultimately given birth to environmentally friendly cars that have become instantly popular among consumers.

The conventional vehicles, operated through fuel, are becoming less preferred by many customers because of their negative effects on the environment. According to some research, conventional cars may contribute up to 75% of the earth’s total carbon monoxide pollutants, and one-third of the total air pollution.

This showcases the significant role of conventional cars potentially damaging the environment. The electric and hybrid cars are deemed to be a more eco-friendly alternative. If you’re going for a new car purchase, it can be a difficult decision to make that which car is more environment-friendly.

To help you make the right choice, we have worked on a guide that explains both hybrid and electric cars with respect to their impact on the environment. Let’s see what each car has to offer.

What is a Hybrid Car?

A hybrid car uses two or more engines including an electric motor and a conventional engine operated on gasoline or diesel. The electric engine is responsible for powering the car at lower speeds. The conventional engine supports the car as the speed increases.

A hybrid car tends to save fuel and produce less carbon dioxide emissions, making them a better choice over gasoline-run vehicles.

You can also define a hybrid car as a vehicle that has an engine which can switch between gasoline (fossil fuel) and an alternate fuel source.

What is an Electric Car?

Electric cars and trucks are electricity-powered – partially if not completely. They use electricity through batteries or a fuel cell. There are different kinds of electric vehicles that work differently. Plug-in hybrids can work on both gasoline and an electric motor.

The motor can be powered by a battery that is recharged by plugging in. Another type of electric vehicles is the one in which cars don’t depend on liquid fuel at all and operate solely on electricity. You only have to charge the battery and you’re good to go.

Impact of Hybrid and Electric Cars on the Environment

To understand the effects of hybrid and electric cars on the environment, we have broken down this discussion based on various aspects like battery disposal, manufacturing, and the actual driving process.

Manufacturing of the Cars

While we may have lesser carbon dioxide emissions and release of other pollutants while the hybrid and electric cars are on the road, their production requires more energy than conventional cars. This causes more greenhouse gasses emission and extensive consumption of fossil fuels.

Some recent research concluded that electric vehicle manufacturing can cause 15 to 68% more emissions than that of a conventional car. Similarly, hybrid car batteries require more energy for production than standard car batteries.

They emit sulfur monoxide which is dangerous for the environment. If you’re going to choose from hybrid cars for sale, you must know these facts so that you can make your decision accordingly.

Battery Disposal Risk

Battery disposal issue prevails in all kinds of vehicles, be it fossil fuel operated, hybrid or an electric vehicle. If you plan to buy a pre-owned car, you may face this issue sooner than later. Disposing of the conventional car batteries properly is very important.

The good thing is that they can be recycled and used in other products. The hybrid and electric car batteries can also be recycled. In many cases, they can even be reused.

For the hybrid or electric car batteries that are not able to power these vehicles, are still able to work 80% of capacity. These batteries are utilized in other applications such as backup power sources in commercial buildings.


This is the part that gives you a better comparison between a hybrid car and an electric car in terms of being eco-friendly. The hybrid vehicles switch between conventional fuel and electric power. Although they may not burn as much fuel like conventional cars, they still create a negative impact on the environment.

Electric vehicles, on the contrary, do not burn fossil fuel. As a result, they do not emit any greenhouse gases while you’re driving them.

However, charging your electric vehicle requires a power source and is ultimately responsible for the emissions produced in the process of generating that power. To curtail these emissions, it is important that cleaner methods of energy production are indulged.

Benefits Offered by Hybrid and Electric Cars

Before you buy a pre-owned car, electric, hybrid or conventional, it is important to know what benefits they offer you. While the previous section gave you an insight into the overall impact of electric and hybrid cars on the environment, here are some positive aspects of each vehicle type concerning the atmosphere.

Environmental Benefits of Electric Cars

  • Electric cars can reduce local air pollution significantly because they don’t emit pollutants directly.
  • Electric motors provide high power-to-weight ratio which allows you to have vehicles with more immediate acceleration.
  • Electric vehicles have energy efficiencies of 69 to 72% if counted against the stored chemical energy and 59 to 62% if counted against required energy to recharge.
  • Some electric cars allow the cabin to be heated while they are plugged in. This reduces the amount of energy consumed while driving, making the car more energy efficient.

Environmental Benefits of Hybrid Cars

  • The twin powered engine allows the vehicle to consume less gas and conserve energy.
  • Hybrid cars for sale are designed to be cleaner and are less dependent on gasoline or diesel. This reduces the emissions that harm the environment.
  • Hybrid cars are built from lighter materials. This reduces the amount of energy required to run the vehicle. Hence, a smaller and lighter engine provides the same performance but saves more energy.

The Final Verdict

Based on the above analysis, it is safe to say that electric cars are equally – if not more – eco-friendly than hybrid cars. The fact that you can have an electric car that’s completely operated by a chargeable electric motor; you can play a significant role in reducing the emissions and pollutants that harm the environment.

The production phase for both hybrid and electric cars can be a cause of substantial greenhouse gas emissions and carbon dioxide releases. But if we’re able to reach a better energy production method, this issue can be improved, making these cars an ideal alternative to today’s conventional vehicles.

Author Bio

Jenn was working in automotive sales when she discovered a passion for writing about various automotive topics. She loves her new Toyota rav4 and spending weekends getting away with her two dogs, where she gets inspired to write even more amazing blogs!