| News | Drivers

Hybrid vs Electric vs ICE – The Pros and Cons

If you are choosing whether to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle, we have compiled a list of the pros and cons to help you decide.

vw id.3

The electric vehicle (EV) market is continuing to expand exponentially in 2023. In July this year, one battery electric car was registered every 60 seconds. The used EV market is also showing impressive growth, with sales of used battery electric vehicles (BEVs) rising by 81.8% in Q2 of 2023. Plug-in hybrid (PHEV) registrations are experiencing a significant increase too – uptake rose 79.1% in July. 

Are you thinking about moving away from your conventional car too? If you are eager to join the electric revolution and buy an electric model, there are a few choices to make as you embark on this exciting journey, notably between a hybrid or electric vehicle. 

In this blog, we break down the differences between the two, and compare the pros and cons of each as well as fossil fuel vehicles, including: 

  • Which is more environmentally friendly? 
  • Are they more cost-effective than fossil fuel vehicles? 


Hybrid/Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicles

A hybrid EV has both a conventional petrol or diesel engine and an electric motor and batteries. The internal combustion engine (ICE) charges the vehicle’s battery (most vehicles achieve this by repurposing wasted energy), and the electric motor typically engages when extra power is required, like when the vehicle is accelerating. 

Plug-in hybrids are very similar. They have a battery and electric motor as well as a petrol or diesel engine, however they are able to drive for much longer distances on electric power than hybrids can, as their batteries are larger. Unlike with a hybrid vehicle, the battery cannot be recharged by the vehicle– it must be plugged in. 


  • No fears around losing charge: Whilst pure EVs are reliant on battery power only, hybrids/plug-in hybrids can switch to petrol or diesel power if the battery loses power. So, drivers do not have to worry about range as much as with full EVs. 
  • Environment: In comparison to ICE vehicles, hybrids/plug-in hybrids produce less CO2 
  • Good fuel economy: Hybrids /plug-in hybrids suit stop-start driving, as they can use electric power whilst travelling at low speeds around town. The electric motors also aid the ICE under harsher acceleration. Both techniques help to lower the amount of fossil fuels used. Through regenerative braking, hybrid vehicles repurpose kinetic energy, which is typically lost in conventional ICE vehicles. 
  • Lower upfront and maintenance costs: These models are bit cheaper than full EVs. In hybrids, regenerative braking also helps reduce the stress on the brake pads, which saves costs for replacement pads. 



  • Environment: Whilst better than ICE vehicles, hybrids/plug-in hybrids are not as environmentally friendly as a fully electric vehicle, as there is still a petrol or diesel engine. This means they do produce CO2 and other polluting emissions.  

Electric Vehicles

In comparison to hybrids, fully electric vehicles have no engine. Rather, they are powered by rechargeable electric batteries. 


  • Environment: Road transport is the main source of nitrogen dioxide. Driving an EV means you are not contributing any tailpipe emissions to the atmosphere during your journeys. According to Bloomberg, a standard combustion engine passenger vehicle in the U.S. uses approximately 11 barrels of oil equivalent per annum. And, as they are not powered by fossil fuels, EVs are much more friendly for our environment. This is even more so the case when the energy used to charge EVs is clean.  
  • Good fuel economy: The average ICE vehicle has a relatively low efficiency (around 40%), so they consume far more energy travelling the same distance as an EV. EVs also consume less energy in stop-and-start traffic. 
  • A nice ride: EVs have a reputation for driving smoothly and quietly, and they also have a smoother acceleration and deceleration. On top of this, their lower centre of gravity provides better handling, comfort, and responsiveness.  
  • Lower running costs: Because fully electric models have less moving parts, they cost less to maintain. Research suggests on average, EV maintenance costs are 30% less than petrol vehicles over the life of the vehicle. As ultra-low emission zones become more and more prevalent, you will not have to worry about being charged when driving through these areas. And, until April 2025, EVs are exempt from Vehicle Exercise Duty (VED). Insurance costs are also becoming comparable with insurance for petrol or diesel cars. 



  • Cost of purchase: It is no secret that EVs are, at present, an expensive purchase. As demand for EVs increases, however, it is expected that costs will come down. An alternative is to buy a second-hand vehicle – MoneySavingExpert found an 11-year-old Nissan Leaf starting at about £5,000.  
  • Charging: This applies to both hybrids and fully electric vehicles. The state of the UK’s charging network is, at this moment in time, not comparable to the ease of refuelling an ICE vehicle. However, this is not a reason to be put off – the public charging network is expanding by the day, and EV charging will become increasingly easier as this transition continues. In July this year, Zap-Map reported a 40% increase in the total number of charging devices since July last year. 

Recent News