What should I buy – a gas, hybrid, or electric vehicle?

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Whether you’re in the market for a new car or just casually thinking about upgrading soon, it’s good to know about the different types of alternative-fuelled vehicles available today. Here’s a helpful decoding of what’s what, and which vehicle will give you the best bang for your buck:

Gas. Gasoline vehicles are the most common type of vehicle, and usually offer lower up-front costs. Gas is easy to come by and is the default fuel option on the road. But gasoline vehicles are not the only reliable way to get around.

Hybrid. Hybrid vehicles (HEVs) use a combination of a gas engine and an electric motor to power the vehicle. Automakers now offer a large selection of hybrid vehicles, with over 30 models in Canada as of the 2016 model year. Although automakers use different approaches and varying degrees of hybridization, all HEVs have battery packs that are charged with electricity generated by the vehicle, either through regenerative braking or the internal combustion engine. HEV battery packs are not charged from the electric grid, therefore these hybrids have no plug-in charger.

Electric. Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) use an electric motor powered by an internal battery to power its wheels. When the batteries run low, they must be plugged in to recharge. BEVs produce no tailpipe emissions, and cost less to operate compared to a gas-powered vehicle. In the past, electric vehicles were rare and expensive, but more affordable models have been rolling off the assembly lines for a few years now. Knowing how far you travel on a daily basis will allow you to choose an electric vehicle that has the driving range to meet your daily needs. For example, most BEVs will allow you to travel 120 kilometres before a recharge is needed. Thankfully, public charging stations are everywhere, which will allow you to recharge on the go. Many businesses even offer recharge-while-you-shop parking. – NewsCanada

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