Skip to main content

When Is Pure Electric Car Most Useful and When To Buy Hybrid

Few Toyota Prius owners discuss the advantages and disadvantages of having Prius Prime over other types of all electric vehicles. It's mostly the range anxiety.


This morning Torque News published Douglas Peng's story titled Why Plug-in Hybrids Are Better Than All-Electric Cars in which he discusses Lithium-Ion batteries and weekend outings with Plug-in hybrid cars. I shared the in my Toyota Prius Owners Club on Facebook and got several interesting replies from the members. Here are some of them below.

Pure electric is only useful as a second car for commuting only. A plug-in hybrid functions as a fuel-free commuter AND an unlimited mile highway machine. "I live in Texas. Houston to Dallas is 250 miles. How many electric cars could even make the one-way trip?" asks Michael Duran in the group.

David McCarthy - The Tesla Model S, Model X, Model 3 LR all can make that trip depending upon battery. Just like how ICE vehicles have different trim levels for $$$ to spend, EVs have battery sizes. And Tesla Roadster 2020 can make it to and back on a single charge.

Michael Duran - Buying a Tesla is like being a beta tester at your own (very high) cost. I cannot afford to test and tune someone else's product with my school teacher salary.

David McCarthy - No more than buying any other vehicle. There has been over 50 car fires due to minor accidents and because of repairing a windshield. Toyota, Ford, Chevy, GM, all the players have had massive recalls and some would rather let owners die and settle out of court than pay to fix faulty ignition switches.

Tom Corso - I have both. A Prius and a Volt. I looked at the plug in Prius, but the Volt was more of what I wanted. The fact that I already had a Prius, made the Volt a better choice. But I may upgrade the Prius to a Prius plug-in. Then I have the best of both. Prius gets 50mpg gas and 20 miles per charge. The Volt gets 40mpg gas and 40 miles per charge. I use the Volt around town. I use my wife's Prius for highway trips.


TyFawkes (not verified)    May 5, 2018 - 9:09PM

I have to argue the number of beyond 100% BEV range trips one makes annually is more relevant to what to drive than actual trip miles. Here's why. We have a 2016 Nissan Leaf with the 30 kWh battery. The Leaf is our only car. It handles all of our daily driving flawlessly. MAYBE half-a-dozen times a year we need to travel about 200 miles for family gatherings. Because the infrastructure exists, we plan ahead and use the Leaf. No big deal. Maybe 3 or 4 times more a year we need to travel as much as 500 miles for business or family obligations. For those trips we rent a ICE car. We save so much money on gas and maintenance that we can easily afford to rent for such trips. Also, with a little planning it's pretty cheap. Now, anything beyond 600 miles, we fly. I'm older and just can't take bouncing down the road for more than about 10 hours max. This system works well for us and even though we rarely buy gas, there is zero ICE maintenance. Now, if we were making 200 - 500 or 600 mile trips on a regular basis currently, a PHEV would make more sense. Unless we could afford a Tesla Model X. I figure eventually all other auto makers' EV range and the associated infrastructure will catch up.

The thing I run across often is people tell me they NEED a hybrid because they have to go 400 or 500 miles a few times a year. Personally, I'm ruined driving an ICE. I HATE it. I'm always thrilled to turn in the rental.