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What are the benefits of a hybrid or electric car?

At Tony’s Toys we often hear from customers who are thinking about switching to an electric or hybrid car and they ask us questions like, “Will an electric car really save me that much money?”, “Other than the environmental benefits, why should I consider electric or hybrid?” and “What are the differences between a gas car versus an electric car versus a hybrid anyway?”

Today we’ll break it all down for you in a summary of the three types of vehicles out there today – gas, electric and hybrid – and what they have to offer. 

Gas-powered Vehicles

As the name implies, gas-powered cars are powered by gas. A gas car has a fuel tank which supplies gasoline to the engine. The engine then turns a transmission, which turns the wheels.

Of the three types of vehicles, the gas ones are the least eco-friendly option by far.  Even some of the most fuel-efficient gas-powered cars on the road will only give you upwards of 30-35 miles per gallon (mpg) while the average gas car gets you about 25 mpg. The bigger the car gets, the more gas it sucks up, so you’re also limited to sedans and coupes as well if you want to stay relatively green.

A huge advantage of gas-powered vehicles is the overall selection and diversity of models to choose from (e.g. styles, colours, features). There is a 99% chance that your dream car comes in a gas-powered option but your odds go down significantly if you’re looking for that perfect car in an electric or hybrid model. 

However, the greatest benefit of the gas car is how far it can go before refuelling.  The average gas car has a range of 300 to 400 miles. Of course, you can refuel long before that because of the convenient locations of gas stations here in Cayman but that is not the case with electric vehicles where you have to find charging stations which are not the most readily available.

A gas-powered vehicle is ideal for you if:

  • You don’t want to be limited by vehicle selection
  • You want the ease of fuelling up wherever/whenever
  • You want longer average range distances
  • You don’t mind paying more for fuel and more often
  • You’re not overly concerned with being eco-friendly

Hybrid Vehicles

A hybrid vehicle is one that combines at least one electric motor with a gasoline engine to move. Sometimes the electric motor does all the work, sometimes it’s the gas engine, and sometimes they work together. The result is less gasoline burned and, therefore, better fuel economy. Adding electric power can even boost performance in certain instances. It’s the best of both worlds!

The electricity in the hybrid comes from a high-voltage battery pack that is separate from the vehicle’s conventional 12-volt battery. Hybrids also use the gas engine to charge and maintain the battery.

Since a hybrid runs on both gas and electric, all you have to do is fill up your ride with gas like you normally would and go about your day. You don’t need to search for a charging station to keep going which eliminates the fear of running out of juice. 

The most efficient hybrids can return close to 60 mpg which is definitely more than a gas-powered car offers and means less money spent at the pump.

In terms of selection, more options have become available as auto makers are now mandated by law to manufacture more efficient vehicles that utilise cleaner energy. Most vehicle brands now offer a hybrid option and they’re actually pretty cool and fun to drive.

A hybrid vehicle is ideal for you if:

  • You want the flexibility to go from electric to gas when refuelling/charging
  • You have generally shorter commutes and travel distances
  • You don’t mind having a more limited selection of vehicles
  • You want to save big at the pump without sacrificing range

Electric Vehicles

An electric vehicle (EV) is powered solely by electric motors which makes it the most environmentally friendly type of automobile. EVs store the electricity in rechargeable batteries that power an electric motor which turns the wheels. Electric cars also accelerate faster than vehicles with traditional fuel engines so they feel lighter to drive.

You can charge an electric vehicle either at home or wherever there’s an available charging station. Charging can take a while, at least 12 hours and even longer in some models, but once it’s fully charged you can usually go for about 100 miles. There are currently 14 charging stations in Cayman.

Over the course of their lifetime, electric vehicles are far less expensive to maintain than gas-powered cars. This is because electric vehicles don’t have many of the components that need replacing/maintenance, e.g. oil/ fluid changes, transmission work, muffler work, etc. There are, however, a few components that will need to be maintained such as brakes and tires, for example, which should be relatively inexpensive over the total life of the vehicle.

In terms of operating costs, a 2018 study from the University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute found that electric vehicles cost less than half as much to operate as gas-powered cars. The average cost to operate an EV in the United States is US$485 per year, while the average for a gasoline-powered vehicle is US$1,117. Quite a savings!

An electric vehicle is ideal for you if:

  • You want to stop buying gas completely
  • Emissions-free driving is important to you
  • You want to save money on car maintenance
  • You don’t have to commute for extremely long distances at a time

CONCLUSION

Now that you know more about what gas, electric and hybrid vehicles have to offer, the only thing left to do is decide which one you want! At Tony’s Toys we offer all three of these vehicle types and we would be happy to help you make a decision and place that order.

Drive in today and meet with us, call 946-8697 or email sales@tonystoys.net.

And that IS the true position at Tony’s Toys!

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