Hybrid and electric vehicles have taken the automotive market by storm in recent years, with a record 46,522 purchased in the UK last year.* But what sets hybrids apart from their petrol, diesel and pure electric counterparts?
What is a hybrid vehicle?
Essentially, hybrid vehicles are ones that use more than one means of propulsion, i.e. using a combination of a petrol engine and electric batteries (which run an electric motor) to power the car. Hybrids automatically select whether to run on electric or petrol, with the aim of increasing fuel economy. With full hybrid vehicles, the electric battery is recharged by the petrol engine. Whereas plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs), as the name suggests, can be plugged into mains electricity to charge their batteries.
What are the benefits of hybrid vehicles?
1. They are cheaper to run
Because the electric motor either supports or substitutes the petrol engine – especially on short journeys – hybrid cars use less fuel than conventional vehicles. In Fact, moneysupermarket.com estimates that hybrids use between 15% and 30% less fuel per mile.** Hybrids are usually cheaper to tax too, and some models are exempt from the London congestion charge.
2. They are better for the environment
Being more fuel-efficient means that hybrids also generally emit less CO2 than petrol or diesel incarnations.
3. They can be cheaper to maintain
The general maintenance of hybrids can cost a similar amount to – if not less than – petrol or diesel counterparts, as they still include many similar components. However, due to the use of electric power in tandem with the combustion engine, there is likely to be less wear and tear on the engine and also the brakes over time. The batteries do eventually wear out, but most car manufacturers provide generous warranties for these.
4. Less range anxiety
A factor which prevents some people opting for a pure electric vehicle (EV) is that they are concerned about where they can charge their vehicle. Charging points are now more widespread but hybrids nonetheless quash any anxieties about range as they still use traditional fuelling stations. Full hybrid vehicles also charge up their own batteries.
5. Purchase incentives are available
Some plug-in hybrids are eligible for a low-emission vehicles plug-in grant upon purchase. For example, the Hyundai IONIQ PHEV is a Category 2 car and is therefore eligible for a £2,500 grant.
6. They can produce better performance
Hybrids can actually provide better performance and speed than petrol and diesel vehicles. They offer an exciting, sporty experience, with the electric motor and petrol engine combining to produce high performance. Not convinced? Formula 1 are – they have been using hybrid technology for several years!
Why choose a hybrid over a pure electric vehicle?
If you are considering a hybrid or pure electric car as your next vehicle, then it is best to look at the types of journeys you regularly take. If most of your mileage comes from small city-based commutes, then both hybrid and electric cars will suit you – with a hybrid you’ll gain the most benefit from running on electric-only power.
Hybrids are a good compromise for people who take longer journeys in addition to those smaller commutes, and are concerned about where they could potentially charge an electric vehicle. Hybrids are still far less polluting than petrol and diesel cars, as well as being cheaper to run and maintain, and they can quell any “range anxiety” that might come with an EV.
Considering making the switch?
Full hybrid vehicles such as the Lexus RX Hybrid, the Toyota Yaris Hybrid and the Ford Mondeo Hybrid, plus plug-in hybrid vehicles such as the Hyundai IONIQ PHEV, are all popular hybrid models across different vehicle styles – and they can all be found at your local Johnsons dealerships!
If you are considering making your next motor a hybrid one, why not pop into one of our dealerships to discuss your needs further?