Should you opt for an all-electric vehicle, hybrid, or stick to a gas-powered vehicle? Learn more about the types of electric cars to discover which may be right for you.

The biggest variable between plug-in hybrid (PHEVs) and all-electric vehicles (EVs) is the driving range.

  • PHEVs have both an electric motor and a gasoline engine, giving the vehicle more range.

    There are two types of PHEVs:

    • Series (also called extended-range) PHEVs can run solely on their electric motor until the battery is depleted, at which point the gasoline engine starts and  generates electricity to power the electric motor.
    • Parallel (also called blended) PHEVs share the load and run on both the electric motor and gas engine at the same time, but are capable of running on electric power only at low speeds.
  • EVs, on the other hand, don’t have a gas engine and typically have less range than PHEVs and gasoline powered vehicles. Range for both will vary based on make and model.

So which type of vehicle is right for you? Take the quiz below to determine if you’re ready for an electric. The answer may surprise you.

What’s your level of commitment to the environment?

  • A. You are committed to the environment in many ways, but you aren’t sure an electric will fit your lifestyle.
  • B. You make efforts to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible, but occasionally convenience wins out over your conscience.
  • C. You are wholeheartedly committed to reducing your carbon footprint as much as possible.

If you answered C, then you are probably ready for an EV. If you answered B, a PHEV might be the better fit. And if you answered A, you may even want to stick to a gas-powered vehicle. Your habits and lifestyle needs, covered in the next few questions, will help you decide.

What is your current vehicle status?

  • A. The car you buy will be your only vehicle and you’ve never owned an EV or PHEV before.
  • B. You currently have one vehicle in your family that is either gas powered or a PHEV. You are thinking of adding a second car that is electric.
  • C. You have been driving a PHEV, but are thinking of trading that in for an EV.

If you chose B or C, you might be ready for your first EV. If you have a backup car for longer-range needs, or if you’ve been driving a PHEV for a while and rarely need to fill the tank, it might be time to make the EV leap.

What are your needs regarding extended car travel?

  • A. You take several road trips — longer than 60 miles — throughout the year.
  • B. You rarely travel outside your city or town by car.
  • C. You take a few road trips per year and like to make frequent stops.

If you chose B or C, you might be ready for an EV. The key is to decide whether you take enough longer trips where range is an issue or if you’re comfortable with the idea of having to charge frequently. 

What is your daily commute like?

  • A. Your commute is longer than 40 miles.
  • B. Your commute is shorter than 40 miles.
  • C. You walk, take public transportation or work from home.

If you chose B or C, you might be ready for an EV. The length of your commute will determine whether an EV makes sense. If you do have a longer commute, you could still opt for a PHEV.

Where do you live?

  • A. You live in a rural area or small town with few public places to charge and long ranges between towns.
  • B. You live in a midsized city; it’s spread out but has plenty of places for charging.
  • C. You live in a larger city and mostly use your car for running quick errands.

Again, if you chose B or C, an EV is a possibility, but if you chose A, you may need to stick to a gas-powered vehicle or buy a PHEV.

No matter which car you choose, your local Farm Bureau agent is here to assist you with any auto insurance needs.