Do hybrid cars need to be charged? (Answered)

Hybrid cars require two fuel sources to perform the same functions. Some hybrid cars do not need plugging into an electric port. They harness the power of the car’s braking system to turn the power into an electrical charge to recharge their battery. But other hybrid cars require a charging station to charge the battery. 

Hybrid cars do need charging, but how they build up charge depends on their design.

Do hybrid cars need to be charged?

Yes, a hybrid car does need a full battery in order to move and drive around. If the electric battery is not charged, then the hybrid car will either use gasoline to power the engine or it will not work at all. 

Types of charging methods

There are three different ways hybrid cars can charge.

The first is by using the power of the gasoline engine’s internal combustion system.

The second is by retaining the energy used when braking.

The third is by charging the battery at an electrical charging station.

Not all hybrid cars have the option of plugging their system into an electrical charging station to charge the battery.

These are stand-alone hybrid cars that gain an electrical charge required by their batteries by using the gasoline engine’s internal combustion system. 

Other types of hybrid cars convert the energy of the car’s braking system and turn it into an electric charge which is then stored in the battery.

Many people believe that all hybrid cars work just like electric cars, but this is not true. Only certain hybrid cars require charging at an electrical charging station, just like fully electric ones. 

Other electrical cars can generate electricity through their system. But will have an electrical port to charge the battery at a charging station. It all depends on the brand of the vehicle.

Regenerative braking systems

The process of gathering the energy from a hybrid car’s braking system, changing it to an electrical charge, and storing that charge in the batter is regenerative braking. 

This charging system appears in nearly all Toyota hybrid cars. With this system, the hybrid system is constantly changing its own battery. Regenerative braking systems have a generator connected to the brakes. The generator generates an electric charge using the energy from the brakes. 

This method is also extremely convenient because a person never needs to wait for their car to charge up at a charging station or at their home. 

They also do not have to spend extra money charging their car at a charging station on top of spending money on gasoline.

How long does it take hybrid cars to be charged?

How long it takes for a non-plug hybrid car’s battery to fully charge depends on how much the vehicle owner drives their car. Since a hybrid car’s battery builds up its charge through braking

For hybrid cars that have to sit at an electric charging station, it usually takes about 3-5 hours to completely charge the battery. But this is just the average amount of hours. Some hybrid cars and SUVs can take up to 10 hours! 

Can hybrid cars run on electricity if there is no gas?

No, most hybrid cars will not be able to run its engine on electricity only. In a hybrid car, an electric battery and the engine work together with the gasoline internal combustion engine.

These two machines improve the mileage of the car, lower emissions, and create a more robust and efficient system. But, in many hybrid cars, there can be no electricity without gasoline.

If a hybrid car does not have any gasoline, it will be able to access the battery and use the battery to power the car. But it will not be a fully operational hybrid vehicle. The car will not be able to go as fast, and the mileage will shrink exponentially. 

There are a few hybrid cars that can operate solely on an electric charge if there is no gas in the fuel tank. But these cars will not be able to fully function. They will only be able to travel around 20 miles using only electric power. 

The vehicles will not be able to operate their system to their full capacity. Such hybrid cars will not be able to reach speeds of 50mph. 

On top of that, hybrid cars that charge their own battery using their internal combustion engine or a regenerative braking system will not be able to charge at all. 

Can hybrid cars run on gas if the battery is dead?

Once again, it all depends on the brand, make, model, and the vehicle’s engine design. Many hybrid cars can solely run on gasoline if there is no charge in the main battery. Many hybrid cars can switch from fully electric to hybrid to fully gasoline. But not all hybrid cars have this option. 

However, running out of an electrical charge is not an issue for hybrid electric cars that can generate their own electrical charge through the gasoline internal combustion or using the braking system. These vehicles continuously create a charge that charges the battery while the vehicle is moving. 

The reason why hybrid cars cannot run on gasoline only when the battery is dead is that hybrid cars have a hybrid engine system. The system consists of both an internal combustion engine that runs on gasoline and a battery that runs on electrical charge. 

But as stated above, the engine creates a charge which fills and powers the battery. 


Yes, hybrid cars do need charging. There are systems inside certain hybrid cars that can charge the battery as it is driving around. If a hybrid car charges its own battery by collecting and storing the energy used when braking, then it has a regenerative braking system. 

Some other hybrid cars have a plug so they can charge at the owner’s home or at an electrical charging station. If there is no charge in the battery, most hybrid cars can run completely on gasoline. Most hybrid cars can take from 3-5 hours to fully charge their battery.

  • Eric Williams

    I'm the founder of Daily Car Tips. I wrote articles in the automotive industry for more than 10 years, published in USA and Europe. I love sharing my knowledge and insights with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on this journey as we explore the exciting world of cars together!

    View all posts