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Hybrid vs 100% Electric Cars: High Tech, Low Impact

Going green has been a trending topic in the automotive industry. From car share programs to taking public transportation, there are so many ways to reduce your carbon footprint. Should you make the switch to electric or transition to a hybrid vehicle?

The automotive industry’s shift toward electric isn’t a fad. It is here to stay and it seems early adopters couldn’t be happier. EmpireCovers interviewed Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf owners to see what all the hype is about.

EmpireCovers Electric Car

The Chevrolet Volt is a hybrid electric car. Because it runs on gas and electricity, it has an internal combustion engine. Depending on the conditions, drivers can go up to 40 miles using electric. After that, the engine switches to gas. The gas is also used to charge the electric battery, making the MPG higher.

Matt Schmidt, Volt owner since October 2012, said over 75% of his car’s mileage is electric. Schmidt upgraded from a 2003 Oldsmobile Alero and hasn’t looked back since.

“I’m very pleased with the Volt,” said Schmidt. “Most of the gasoline miles came via trips of 1,000 and 1,200 miles and the car performed without incident in both cases. Except for a change in sound, there is no difference when driving powered by gasoline or the batteries. I’d gladly purchase another Volt, if needed. I just wish there were more charging stations available throughout the U.S.”

Dustin Floyd and his wife traded their 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser and 1988 Toyota Camry to purchase the Volt and become a one-car household. Floyd notes that most of the Volt’s mileage comes from electric, but road trips have resulted in more gas usage.

When asked about the biggest difference between his Volt and previous vehicles, Floyd said, “Maintenance costs are much lower. I’ve been driving my Volt for five months, and the car tells me (which in itself is pretty cool) that I have 75% of my oil life remaining. Since we’ve been averaging nearly 70 miles to the gallon, we spend very little on gas. And while I had some problems with fluid leaks and tires on our last cars, this one is warrantied for the next few years, so I expect to have very little out-of-pocket expenses.“

The Nissan Leaf is a fully electric vehicle. It has no internal combustion engine, meaning no more CO2 emissions or oil changes. The Leaf’s electric range is about 75 miles. Because it is 100% electric, once the battery is gone, it’s gone.

Nissan Leaf owner and co-founder of Web2Carz, Ben Wallach, enjoys being behind the wheel of his Nissan Leaf. With over 7,200 miles in almost two years, he has not run out of power, yet.

“The silence, smooth ride, and acceleration when desired, are all quite impressive,” explained Wallach. “I charge at my home garage charger every few days as necessary and have no need for gas stations any more.”

Less maintenance appears to be a main benefit to convert to a hybrid electric or fully electric vehicle.  When you’re protecting the environment it’s important to also protect your vehicle. EmpireCovers offers a wide variety of vehicle covers to protect your investment. Check out the EmpireCovers Chevy Volt car cover in action.

Do you have a hybrid electric or fully electric car? We’d love to hear from you! What is the biggest difference you’ve noticed in your electric car from your previous gas powered vehicle?