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The costs of buying electric or hybrid cars

The demand is increasing for electric vehicles as people the world over – including in the United Arab Emirates – try to cut down on their environmental footprint.

The car industry has been making a big move toward the adoption of automated and electric motor vehicles to ensure that demand can be met, with large manufacturers investing time and money for the research and development of electric vehicles and hybrid models.

Hybrids are often considered by consumers who are new to the idea of electric cars as they are something of a bridge between electric vehicles and more traditional vehicles.

Hybrid cars offer a greater degree of flexibility, allowing motorists to switch between engines depending on the available fuel options, with fully electric vehicles only capable of being charged via a charging station.

Hybrids tend to be smaller than conventional vehicles powered by petrol and also come with engines that are much more efficient.

The electric motor provides extra power, which means that even much smaller engines can produce a similar power output to vehicles that are powered by non-hybrid engines of twice the size.

Although limited market options do mean that the initial purchase price tends to be much higher for electric vehicles, in the long term, hybrid cars are actually easier to maintain and less expensive to run due to the capabilities of the combined engines.

One thing that drivers who are considering buying a hybrid or electric vehicle should take into account is that fuel costs are actually considerably cheaper.

Owners of a previously owned Volvo XC90 3.2L V6 who drive 15,000 kilometres in the space of a year would spend as much as Dh6,300 on petrol.

On the other hand, owners of a brand-new Volvo T8 XC90 who drive a similar amount would spend just Dh1,830, a fuel cost saving of as much as 70%.

As with all vehicles, the price of a hybrid or electric car that is new is different from one that is second-hand.

However, a great amount of value is also added by warranty and service plans, so even those who are searching for a second-hand vehicle in the UAE should see if there are 12 months left on either, as this can also result in savings.

It is also a good idea for motorists to take a look at their living arrangements.

People who live in apartments can find it difficult to gain access to charging stations, though the accessibility for electric vehicle owners is getting easier as the infrastructure of the UAE evolves.

The last few years have seen over 240 charging stations installed in Dubai by DEWA, a number that is expected to increase to 300 by the close of 2020.

Anyone who drives a hybrid, electric or traditional petrol-fuelled vehicle in the UAE is under a legal obligation to be covered by a minimum of basic third-party car insurance.

Car insurance can offer financial protection from liability in the event of accidents, with further protections offered by more comprehensive coverage.