Hybrid vs. PHEV vs. EV: Which Vehicle is Best for You?

Should you buy a hybrid car, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), or splurge on an expensive electric vehicle (EV)? It’s a tough question to answer, as lots of variables are at play, like your location, your annual mileage, your budget, your access to an EV charger… the list goes on. But there’s one thing for certain: The time has come for you to invest in a greener car — and a greener lifestyle. 

To help you figure out whether you’re best suited for a hybrid, a plug-in, or a 100% electric vehicle, we’ve broken down each option below. 

EVs

Within the next 20 years, Honda plans to sell only electric vehicles, giving them (and the industry) time to refine EV technology and solve “range anxiety.” Until driving ranges increase and charging capabilities get better, battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) aren’t going to be great picks for everyone. 

Charging an electric vehicle is yet another pain point for consumers.

With a standard 120V plug — your basic household outlet — most EVs can only charge a few miles of driving range every hour. A boost of just 4 miles per hour equates to a 61-hour charge from 0% to 100%. Not ideal. 

Things get better when you utilize a 240V (Level II) charger, which is usually installed by a qualified EV charger specialist or electrician. In this instance, a full charge may take about 7-10 hours. 

A DC Fast Charger (Level III), which you’ll find at public EV charging stations, can increase charge rates substantially. In an hour, many electric vehicle batteries can charge up to 80%. However, public fast charging stations aren’t available everywhere, and a home Level III charger is expensive to install or can sometimes be impossible depending on your region’s utility company and power grid layout. 

Electric Car Charging


The electric vehicle lifestyle is unique and unlike the lifestyle of conventional or even PHEV owners. You cannot regularly rely on public chargers, so having a daily or at least a weekly at-home charging solution is necessary. We equate owning an EV to owning a dog: You can leave for a few hours, but at some point you have to go home and let the dog out (charge your car), which can really take the wind out of your traveling sails. 

Best for?

An electric vehicle could be a smart buy if you:

  • Own your own home
  • Have a garage
  • Live in a warmer region (EV batteries dislike cold temperatures)
  • Can be patient with overnight charging
  • Want to go carbon neutral
  • Are able to afford a more expensive car
  • Are able to afford the expense of buying and installing a home charger
  • Want the maximum federal EV tax incentive
  • Don’t like changing oil
  • Have another vehicle to use for longer trips

PHEVs

How much range do you really need in your electric car? Less than you actually think, which is why a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle makes the best sense for most people.

The average American commutes about 15 miles to and from work, or about 30 miles per day. If this applies to you — for instance, if you drive from Kendall or Coral Gables to Fort Lauderdale for work daily — paying more for a pure EV might not be a prudent investment. You can make do with a PHEV in electric-only mode and barely use up any gas; and when you do have to make the occasional trip or errand, the car’s traditional gas engine picks up the slack. 

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle — including the Honda Clarity PHEV, which can travel up to 47 miles* in electric-only mode — can make roughly the same carbon footprint as a pure electric vehicle, too, when you factor in emissions created during manufacturing. They also cost less to buy, require a smaller lightweight battery, and don’t produce the same range anxiety as a 100% electric car. 

2021 Honda Clarity for Sale Miami


Fewer emissions. No range anxiety. Better outta-the-box price. It’s really the best of both worlds. 

Contact a Honda dealership to learn more about or request a quote on a 2021 Honda Clarity for sale near you.

Best for?

Owning a PHEV or plug-in hybrid car makes the most sense if you:

  • Live in the suburbs
  • Have access to a garage
  • Take short commutes (less than 50 miles per day) to and from the city
  • Make the occasional long-distance trip
  • Want to pay less for a car
  • Require a dependable vehicle
  • Only need one vehicle
  • Would like a reduced federal tax credit
  • Want to reduce your carbon footprint

Hybrid Cars

Although not as energy- or fuel-efficient as an EV or PHEV, hybrid cars are certainly better on gas than your typical vehicles. 

For instance, the 2021 Honda Accord, which utilizes a revolutionary two-motor hybrid powertrain and e-CVT transmission, returns 48 miles per gallon*. Its counterpart, the 2021 Accord sedan, which is one of the most fuel-efficient midsize cars in its class, returns 33 mpg combined*. If you drive 12,000 miles annually, the Accord Hybrid would save you up to $400 per year more than the non-hybrid sedan.

Unlike electric cars, hybrid vehicles aren’t dependent on an EV charger to go zoom. You don’t have any range anxiety, either, so you can plan a cross-country trip without worrying about where to plug in your cord. It’s the free-range eco-conscious option.

2021 Honda Accord Hybrid for Sale Miami


Hybrid cars are also the most affordable of the three, even when you factor in EV and PHEV federal tax rebates and credits, and hybrid vehicle prices are only going to decrease as they continue to grow in popularity.

You have lots more options than you did 20 years ago, too. In 2001, Honda only offered one type of hybrid, the original Honda Insight. Today, you can buy or lease the new 2022 Insight, Accord Hybrid, Clarity, or CR-V Hybrid — and there are even more green vehicles in the pipeline.

Best for?

It might be the best option to buy a hybrid car if you:

  • Live in a colder region
  • Only need one vehicle
  • Require a dependable vehicle
  • Want to pay less for a car
  • Take lots of longer-distance trips
  • Don’t have access to a garage
  • Don’t have access to an EV charger
  • Are a renter
  • Park on the street
  • Live in a rural area

Shop Honda Hybrids & PHEVs in South Florida

Now’s the time to start going green. If you’d like more details about buying a hybrid car or plug-in vehicle in South Florida, give any of our Honda dealerships a call. We’d be pleased to help you live a more eco-conscious lifestyle with a Clarity, Accord Hybrid, Insight or CR-V Hybrid. 

Find your nearest South Florida Honda Dealers to request a quote today.


Disclaimers:

Clarity – 110 combined miles per gallon of gasoline-equivalent (MPGe) electric rating; 44 city/40 highway/42 combined MPG gasoline-only rating. 47-mile maximum EV mode driving-range rating. 340-mile combined gas-electric driving-range rating. Based on 2021 EPA ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your MPGe/MPG and driving range will vary depending on driving conditions, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, battery-pack age/condition and other factors.

Accord Hybrid – 48 city/48 highway/48 combined mpg rating for Hybrid, Hybrid EX and Hybrid EX-L trims. 44 city/41 highway/43 combined mpg rating for the Hybrid Touring trim. Based on 2021 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery-pack age/condition and other factors.

Accord – 30 city/38 highway/33 combined mpg rating for LX and EX-L trims. 29 city/35 highway/32 combined mpg rating for Sport and Special Edition 1.5T trims. 22 city/32 highway/26 combined mpg rating for Sport and Touring 2.0T trims. 48 city/48 highway/48 combined mpg rating for Hybrid, Hybrid EX and Hybrid EX-L trims. 44 city/41 highway/43 combined mpg rating for the Hybrid Touring trim. Based on 2021 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, battery-pack age/condition (hybrid trims) and other factors.