Hybrid vs Hybrid Plug-in
Cars,  Types Of Cars

Hybrid vs Hybrid Plug-in Fuel-Efficiency [Top 3 for 2021]

A hybrid car uses two or more types of power, such as an electronic motor and a gas motor. It can run on both battery and fuel. The technology came into existence in the year of 1990 and the first car introduced in the USA in the year 2009 by Ford, a car named Ford Fusion.

The most fuel-efficient hybrids today (2021) can travel up to 50+ miles per gallon. Depending on if you want a plug-in hybrid or not, the ranges can be about the same, but fuel cost may not. Here are the top 3 Hybrids and Plug-in hybrids.

Top 3 Fuel Efficient Hybrids

(The mpg is the combined city and highway)

Top 3 Fuel Efficient Plug-in Hybrids 

(The mpg combines electric and gas)

Which car would you buy? Why? It usually makes sense to me to buy a hybrid or plug-in hybrid. You get a federal income tax credit and other rebates. The fuel cost is lower in the long run, eventually helping you save money.

Why Buy a Hybrid?

Hybrid cars enjoy the benefit of a gasoline engine and an electric engine. The electric motor helps give its great mpg. A plug-in hybrid uses a battery to get even better efficiency if using mostly electric. 

Hybrid cars usually have the following:

  • Regeneration of breaking: The gear chain can be used to transfer energy into electrical energy. The exact gear chain which holds out against it. This forced resistance from the electric motor stops the vehicle as well as charges the batteries.
  • Double power: Power can be obtained from the engine or motor or both depending on driving. Extra power can be provided by an electric motor which helps the vehicle to speed up or in climbing hills.
  • Auto On/Off: The vehicle automatically shuts down and starts when the accelerator is pressed. This automation is very easy in an electric

The hybrid cars are day by day achieving good fuel economy and lower fuel loss than normal internal firing engine vehicle. This happens because of three featured normally found in hybrid cars.

  • It uses two motors (a gas & an electric) to get power and efficiency even in a smaller-sized engine.
  • It can store energy in a battery to help with efficiency during braking and accelerating. 
  • It can capture energy in the battery while braking.

What is MPGe?

MPGe gas evuivalent

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

It is how fuel-efficient your car is when not using gas. So if your car uses the battery to power the electric motor in your car, the MPGe is the electric energy equivalent to one gallon of gas. 

Hybrids are so efficient because they use electric energy and that saves money and energy. Hybrids can save you hundreds of dollars a year and a hybrid plug-ins could save you thousands, depends on your driving habits.

It makes sense to get a hybrid when you want to save money over time. Each car is different and the cost of ownership, fuel, and insurance are all a bit different. But if you want to keep your car for a while a hybrid can help you save money on fuel costs. 


Top 3 Hybrid Fuel Efficiency

1. 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

MPG 59 / Range ~700/ Cost $23,400

Large21IONIQHybrid

Credit - Hyundai Motor America

The Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid is fuel-efficient because it: 


  • Uses only 59 mpg of combined city / highway driving.
  • Uses regenerative braking.
  • Used more electric power at lower speeds. 
  • Can save you by lowering the amount of gas you need to buy to around $1016 a year (at So. Cal. gas prices - $4) if traveling about 15,000 a year. 

2. 2021 Toyota Prius

MPG 56 / Range 633/ Cost $24,525

2021-Toyota Prius hybrid

 Credit - Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc

The Toyota Prius is fuel-efficient because it: 


  • Uses only 56 mpg of combined city / highway driving.
  • Uses regenerative braking.
  • Used more electric power at lower speeds. 
  • Can save you by lowering the amount of gas you need to buy to around $1070 a year (at So. Cal. gas prices - $4) if traveling about 15,000 a year. 

3. 2021 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid

MPG 56 / Range 550/ Cost $23,550

2021ElantraHybrid

Credit - Hyundai Motor America

The Hyundai Elantra Hybrid is fuel-efficient because it: 


  • Uses only 54-56 mpg of combined city / highway driving.
  • Uses regenerative braking.
  • Used more electric power at lower speeds. 
  • Can save you by lowering the amount of gas you need to buy to around $1100 a year (at So. Cal. gas prices - $4) if traveling about 15,000 a year. 

Top 3 Hybrid Plug-in Fuel Efficiency

1. 2021 Toyota Prius Prime 

133 MPGe  / Range 640 / Cost $28,800

2021 Toyota Prius Prime

 Credit - Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc

The Toyota Prius Prime is fuel-efficient because it: 


  • Uses only 54 mpg of combined city / highway driving.
  • Uses EV mode where you can go 25 miles without using gas. 
  • It qualifies for a federal tax credit (up to $4,502) which could help you purchase it to use less fuel vs a gas-powered car. 
  • Using regenerative braking.
  • Can save you around $766 in gas a year (at So. Cal. gas prices - $4) if I drove 2/3 of the time using EV mode, at 15,000 miles a year or about 25 miles in EV mode for every 40 miles a day of driving. 

2. 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in

119 MPGe / Range 630 / Cost $26,700

2021 Hyundai Ioniq

Credit - American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Hyundai Ioniq Plug-in is fuel-efficient because it: 


  • Uses only 52 mpg of combined city / highway driving.
  • Uses EV mode where you can go 29 miles without using gas. 
  • It qualifies for a federal tax credit (up to $4,543) which could help you purchase it to use less fuel vs a gas-powered car. 
  • Using regenerative braking.
  • Can save you around $850 in gas a year (at So. Cal. gas prices - $4) if I drove 3/4 of the time using EV mode, at 15,000 miles a year or about 29 miles in EV mode for every 40 miles a day of driving. 

3. 2021 Honda Clarity Plug-in

110 MPGe / Range 340 / Cost $33,400

2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

2021 Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid

The Honda Clarity plug-in is fuel-efficient because it: 

  • Uses only 42 mpg of combined city / highway driving.
  • Uses EV mode where you can go 47 miles without using gas. 
  • It qualifies for a federal tax credit (up to $7,500) which could help you purchase it to use less fuel vs a gas-powered car. 
  • Using regenerative braking.
  • Can save you around $1,400 in gas a year (at So. Cal. gas prices - $4) if I drove mostly using EV mode, at 15,000 miles a year or about 40 miles a day. 



How Charging Works With a Plug-in?

charging-works-in-hybrid-car

To get the most fuel efficiency you'll need to charge your car each day according to the manufacturers' specifications. This can help your car battery last longer and give you greater efficiency. 

It may take hours to all night to charge your car, so plan ahead for how you want to handle charging and think about the distance you should expect to get after charging.  

The car batteries don't need to be charged to full, but each manufacturer will help you find the optimum levels of charging and use so you can get better battery life and fuel efficiency. 


Hybrids, Plug-in Hybrids, and All-Electric

There are three main types of cars that have great fuel efficiency. These all have their benefits and drawbacks. 

  • Hybrids switch between gas and electric motors depending on which is most efficient.
  • Hybrids Plug-ins can also switch between gas and electric motors to improve efficiency but can use electric-only for about 20+ miles if the driver wants to save on gas.
  • All Electric cars can only use an electric motor. This greatly improves efficiency but comes with the disadvantage of not being able to use gas. These cars can go long distances on electric power only. 

With the United States planning on moving toward more electric cars and the population buying more electric cars, we could start seeing bigger jumps in efficiency and lower prices on these vehicles as time goes on.


Why Hybrids Are So Efficient

  • Hybrids use batteries and electric motors. Batteries and electric motors are more efficient than a gas engine. This is the main reason hybrids are so efficient. 
  • Hybrid use computer technology to determine when is the best time to use electric power or gas power. This makes them more efficient and generally able to go very long distances. 
  • Hybrids used regenerative braking to help with recapture (5%-9%) of energy as well. When you stop the car stores some of the energy from breaking back in the battery. (fueleconomy.gov)
  • Hybrids stop the car from idling when they come to a stop. This saves gas and electrical energy, especially when driving in the city.
  • Newer technology.
    • Some of the parts of hybrid cars may use more efficient ways to save energy. The engines tend to use much less gas and there's a lot of technology that goes into keeping the engine efficient.
    • The air conditioning may use less energy.
    • The frame may be lighter.
    • The car may have special arrow dynamic features.  

Features People Like About Hybrid Cars

  • Hybrid cars are a generally less-polluting vehicle
  • A hybrid car has a low value of depreciation, so if you want a good payback value it is a car to invest in
  • Hybrid cars are usually very quiet and relaxing to drive. Being on the highway the car just acts like a fuel-powered one.
  • Hybrid cars will save you money in the long term. The fuel costs at the time may determine how much savings you receive.
  • Repair costs are similar or even less (greencarreports.com) to what you would pay for a normal car. Some parts are more expensive, but some parts will last a very long time like the electric motor. 

Addition Thoughts People Have That Steer Them Towards Hybrids

Prices of fuel may be shooting up in your area. Pollution is also a concern for many people. That's why the Tesla all-electric vehicles have sold out recently (5/21). (electrek.co)

The whole globe is talking about global warming and other calamities. So, car makers are interested in making more and more fuel-efficient and nature-friendly cars. The sale of hybrid cars has ranged in between 2 to 4 percent of the market.

When you want to sell your old car, hybrid car owners have been very happy to find that their cars have held a higher value than non-hybrid of the same car. Even if fuel prices have a drop for some time, we can still count on them going back up again in the future as we see higher oil supplies worldwide, So the real value of your hybrid car's mileage will be the same.


Final Thoughts

Hybrid cars have gained a lot of popularity over the years. This is not only in the United States but also across the globe.

Along with electric cars, these cars are considered to be amongst the most fuel-efficient cars today. If you have a daily commute every day, then a hybrid might be worth it for you. 

What kind of hybrid would you choose? I think the Hyundai Ioniq plug-in would be an interesting option if I were choosing one today.

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