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About Hybrid and Electric Cars

With all of the new hybrid and electric-drive technologies now on the market, it can be hard to tell them apart. Here are some guidelines to help you understand the differences between the major hybrid and electric car types.


gasoline pump

Hybrid cars are fueled with gasoline only. They recapture some energy during braking and store it as electricity which can help power the car. These hybrids cannot be plugged in and charged, but they can be very fuel efficient.

Plug-in Hybrids

gasoline pump and electrical outlet

Plug-in hybrids can be fueled with both gasoline and electricity from an outlet or charger. Some can go over 70 miles on electricity alone, and all can operate solely on gasoline—like a regular hybrid—when necessary. Some types of plug-in hybrids are called extended range electric vehicles (EREVs).