Making a choice between an electric vehicle and a hybrid car

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The purpose of writing this study is to support the appropriate option between a hybrid car and an electric vehicle as a compromise for the acquisition of a car that is economically friendly. The decision is based on two issues, namely environmental considerations and the cost-benefit of hybrid vehicles and electric cars. They deliver a realistic approach to achieve improved fuel economy gains and even address contemporary environmental issues. The alternative approach between the two must therefore be extremely advantageous, befittingly convenient, relatively inexpensive and environmentally sound. Thus, the report endeavors at endorsing an alluring vehicle as an applicable solution that exhibits low environmental consequences and low cost as established from the outcome of the research performed.


Sustainable automotive transport is a crucial necessity for every commuting individual who desires a convenient, economic and a comparatively environmentally friendly vehicle. The occasion of resolving the challenge of acquiring a sustainable automobile should therefore not be instantaneously trailed by the creation of an additional drawback. The additional drawback could entail draining of finances, inconvenience and irrational degradation of the environment. These drawbacks need to be evaded viably when resolving the challenge of achieving a sustainable personal transport that is very apposite for commuting daily. Thus, the recommendation report is founded on a research endeavor that contemplated the weighty aspects that establish the satisfactory alternative amidst hybrid automobiles and electric vehicles.

Universal talks on the environment have exhibited the concerns on the elevated intensity of greenhouse fume emission to the environment. The greenhouse fume emission has been sequenced with global warming owing to the mortification of the ozone layer. The vehicles, ships, airplanes, and industries have all contributed to the discharge of greenhouse fumes into the surroundings. Furthermore, the global talks on viable development have made leaders to summon the society to espouse economically sustainable responsibilities when resolving real-time global challenges incorporating transportation issues.

Besides, advancement in technology indicates that the prospects of the automobile business are inclined towards the hybrid automotive and the electric vehicles (Admin). As a consequence, there is an immense necessity to espouse a sustainable alternative that grants longer driving range, lower emission of the greenhouse fume and low initial as well as operational expenditures.


The report contrasts the dissimilarity amid the hybrid automobile and electric vehicles alternatives as a resolution to the universal challenge of commuting. The contrast amidst the two is established on two criteria, namely the cost-benefit analysis and the environmental concerns. The cost-benefit analysis entails the initial and operative expenditures, convenience and the range of distance driven per charge, whereas, the environmental concerns involve the quantity of the greenhouse fumes emitted alongside the energy utilization. The choice amidst the hybrid automobiles and the electric vehicles that shall be endorsed is the alternative that ascertains better benefits with comparatively low costs and acceptable environmental mortification.


Cost-benefit analysis


The criterion of cost-benefit examines the given alternatives through the utilization of a quantitative strategy that deliberates on the significances and the drawbacks of each of these alternatives. The reflection on the consequences of the presented alternatives assists in ascertaining the best alternative to be selected from the offered choice of alternatives. The cost-benefit principle was chosen in order to factor the economic aspects that influence the universal societies in determining the better alternative amid the plug-in hybrid automobiles and the wholly electric vehicles. Actually, the world comprises of scarce resources that incorporate economic aspects. Therefore, the selections chosen by individuals should ascertain that the benefits from the specified costs are optimal. The diverse costs and advantages from the wholly electric vehicles and hybrids shall be analyzed and the advantageous alternative ascertained.


The data below was acquired from the secondary sources and computed to make it pertinent for this analysis. The plug-in hybrid used in attaining the data in table 1 and 2 is the Chevrolet Volt and Tesla model S 85D as the electric vehicle.

Table 1: The cost, range and convenience of an electric vehicle and a plug-in hybrid.


Acquisition cost (Base MSRP before incentives)

Fuel consumption (Combined city and highway)



Electric mode

Combined gasoline and electricity

Charging time (240v standard household outlets)

Operation cost for a 1,500-mile range (40miles daily)

Fully Electric vehicle



270 miles

Not Appropriate

47 hours


Plug-in Hybrid


230mpg(e) / 37mpg

40 miles

380 miles

3 hours


Source: Researcher’s compilation from secondary sources. For calculation see the appendix.


The electric vehicle has the capacity of traveling to a distance that its batteries permit it to whereas the plug-in hybrid utilizes both a gasoline engine alongside its electric powertrain. It is also evident that the plug-in hybrid is more efficient than an electric vehicle for distances that are within the range of its electric propulsion. Additionally, the plug-in hybrid has a longer range like that of the traditional vehicle which makes it suitable for longer distances.

Moreover, a hybrid vehicle requires a shorter charging time than an electric vehicle, especially when utilizing the standard household outlets. Tesla Model S, for instance, recharges approximately 3 miles of range per hour when charged using the 110-volt standard household outlet (Edmund). Furthermore, it has a limited range of 270miles and an energy utilization rate of 34 kWh/ 100 miles (Edmunds). This translates to $ 61.20 for every 1,500 miles.

Alternatively, the Chevrolet Volt has an electric range of 40 miles and a fuel economy of up to 230mpg when in electric mode(Lampton). This translates to an energy depletion rate of 14.65 kWh/ 100 miles as computed in the appendix. Thus, implying that for a purely electric drive, the Chevrolet Volt will exhibit an operation cost of $ 26.37 for every 1,500 miles. Consequently, the hybrid is more alluring since it has an acquisition cost of $ 35,170 whereas the electric vehicle has a very loftier price tag of $ 86,200 (Almeida).

The electric vehicle has a higher acquisition value because the battery pack that has sufficient capacity of storing the power required for a longer range are more expensive. Equally, a battery pack with larger capacity makes the vehicle heavier and significantly reduces range and the power utilization efficiency. The reason is that the range of the electric drive entirely depends on the aerodynamics and the weight of the vehicle (Edmunds). As a consequence, the plug-in hybrid is, therefore, more efficient than the electric vehicle when running within the 40-mile electric range.

The major drawback for the electric vehicle is the extended time required to completely recharge its battery pack. This is very inconvenient because even for longer trips, one has to wait for at least an hour to wholly charge the battery when in a supercharging station. By approximation, each charge for Tesla Model S costs about $11.00 as compared to the hybrid which a single charge costs about $0.70. The plug-in hybrid, therefore, has the benefit of convenience as one can charge the vehicle every evening at home when they do not travel beyond the 40-mile range each day. The electric car is inconvenient when recharged at home because an 8-hour charge will translate to a 24mile worth of range.

Environmental concerns


The energy consumed by a typical gasoline vehicle is directly proportionate to the amount of the greenhouse fume discharged to the atmosphere by that automobile. Therefore, the alternative selected has to be suitably environmentally friendly.


Table 2: Energy consumption and greenhouse fume emission within 40-mile and 100-mile range


Amount of emissions of CO2 (g/100miles)

Power consumption (kWh/100miles)

Projected annual emission (15,000 miles) of CO2

40-mile range

Electric vehicle




Plug-in hybrid




100-mile range

Electric vehicle




Plug-in hybrid




Source: Researcher’s compilation and calculation using secondary sources. See the appendix for the detailed computations.


The electric vehicle’s chief attraction is that they are more beneficial to the environment than the plug-in hybrids because they do not use any fossil fuel at all (DeMuro). It is undeniable that within the 40-mile range, the two alternatives are both environmentally friendly. However, beyond this range, the hybrid begins discharging the greenhouse fumes at a rate of 53.54g /mile for the first 100 miles. This arises as a consequence of the depletion of the stored electric power.



This paper weighed both the electric vehicle and the plug-in hybrid automobile centered on two criteria: the cost-benefit and the environmental association. The electric vehicle was beneficial in relation to environmental friendliness. The hybrid vehicle alternatively was beneficial in regard to the cost-benefit and a desired environmental effect when within the range of electric operation.


The plug-in hybrid automobile is the fancied alternative as it meets both the cost-benefit and environmental demands. The electric vehicle is environmentally friendly in all conditions, except that it has a higher acquisition and operation expenditure which makes it unsuitable.


The plug-in hybrid vehicle is endorsed as the optimal choice for everyday commuting to and from work.


For any supplementary information and inquiry concerning this recommendation report, kindly contact me via the email address: [email protected] or through the mobile telephone number: (832) 997-5202.

Work Cited

Admin. "The Differences Between a Hybrid, Plug-In Hybrid and Electric Car | The Ford Experiment." Thefordexperiment.Com, Sep. 2016,

Almeida, Armaan. "Toyota Mirai: Longer Driving Range Than Tesla Model S." Carsdirect, Jul. 2015, Accessed 29 Nov. 2017

DeMuro, Doug. “Should you buy an Electric Vehicle or a Plug-in Hybrid.” Autotrader, Apr. 2014, Accessed 02 Oct. 2017

Diether, John. "2015 Chevrolet Volt Styles & Features Highlights." Carsdirect, Dec. 2014, Accessed 29 Nov. 2017

Edmunds, Daniel. "Used 2015 Tesla Model S 85D Sedan for Sale on Edmunds.Com." Edmunds. 2016. Accessed 28 Nov. 2017.

Edmunds, Daniel. "What Are Hybrid Cars and How Do They Work? On Edmunds.Com." Edmunds, Oct. 2013, Accessed 2 Oct. 2017.

Lampton, Christopher. "How to Charge a Plug-In Hybrid Vehicle." HowStuffWorks., Apr. 2010. Accessed 28 Nov. 2017.

"Model S | Tesla." Tesla.Com, 2017, Accessed 29 Nov. 2017.


Computing Tesla’s equivalent fuel economy.

Tesla Model S 85D consumes 34kw/100mile (Edmunds)

But 1 gallon of gasoline = 33.7kW (“Model S | Tesla.")

Equivalent fuel economy = (e)

Computing Chevrolet Volt’s Power consumption in electric mode

Equivalent fuel economy =230mpg(e) (Lampton).

Fuel consumption = 37 mpg (Diether 1).

For the first 40mile range,

Power consumption =

Operation cost on an entirely electric mode

Cost for 1kwh = $0.12 (“Model S | Tesla.")

Tesla Model S 85D operation cost =

Chevrolet Volt operation cost =

Chevrolet Volt fuel consumption and greenhouse fume emission for 100miles with a fully recharged battery.

Fuel economy =

After the battery power is depleted, the plug-in hybrid vehicle will be emitting greenhouse gas for the remaining 60 miles (For a 100mile trip)

1 mpg = 5456.97 g/km CO­2

1 km = 0.62136995 miles

Greenhouse fume emission (CO2) =

= 5.5kg/100miles

Projected annual CO2 emission for an annual range of 15,000miles with 100mile trips.

Projected emission (CO2) =

= 824.8kg

December 15, 2021
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