For many drivers, hybrid cars are still a bit of a niche market and there are still a lot of concerns around factors such as range anxiety or the best car to buy. However, the popularity of hybrid cars is on the rise and it can be a great stepping stone if you’re not yet ready to get an electric car. Hybrid cars can benefit from lower fuel consumption, reduced maintenance fees and a less harmful impact on the environment. Getting a hybrid car can be really beneficial but it can be best to do your research first. There are 3 different types of hybrid cars you can choose from and you may be better suited to one over others. The guide below looks to explore the different types of hybrid cars and help you decide which is best.
What is a hybrid car?
A hybrid car is one that uses more than one form of propulsion to power the vehicle. Usually, a petrol (or diesel) engine is paired with an electric motor, Depending on the type of hybrid car you choose, the electric motor can either be used independently or simultaneously with the petrol or diesel engine. Hybrids are classed as eco-friendly vehicles because they produce a reduced amount of CO2. High levels of carbon dioxide speed up the rate of climate change and accelerated global warming and adopting a hybrid vehicle can help to reduce your carbon footprint. There are a number of other reasons why a hybrid car is a good idea and now could be a great time for you to consider one. Many hybrid cars also meet ULEZ and CAZ emission standards so you can save on extra congestion charges. But first, let’s take a look at the different types of hybrid cars you can buy.
Types of hybrid cars
There are a number of different hybrid cars you can consider before you look to buy one. Factors such as your daily mileage, charging availability and budget can determine which is right. The most popular hybrid cars are full hybrid, mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars (PHEV) option. Lets take a look at each in more detail.
Full hybrid cars
Full hybrids, sometimes known as parallel hybrids, are the most common type of hybrid car. The petrol or diesel engine is paired with a small electric motor and the electric power can be used either at the same time as the petrol engine or also independently. They usually only have a small battery though which means the electric range can be limited. They can be better suited to city driving if you want to use the electric battery on its own but may not be best if you want to experience zero-emission driving. When used together though, the electric motor can assist the combustion engine and provide mileage that can rival its diesel or petrol equivalent. This means they can also be a great car for commuting or long-distance drivers. When the electric motor needs recharging, there is no action needed from the driver and instead, the car will do it automatically through regenerative braking.
Finance a hybrid car
Mild hybrids work in a similar way to full hybrids but they can’t use their electric motor on their own. Instead, the small electric motor is attached directly to the engine and works to give the vehicle an extra bit of power. When accelerating, the mild hybrid uses the electric motor for a boost which can help to make your fuel go further. Mild hybrids also use regenerative braking to convert kinetic energy into electricity while on the go.
Plug-in hybrid cars (PHEV)
A plug-in hybrid (PHEV) is like a full hybrid but it’s been a bit more advanced. They tend to have larger batters within the electric motor and the biggest difference is that the batteries can be recharged by plugging them in just like a full EV. The cheapest way to charge your car can be at home when you have a charge point installed. Alternatively, you can also use a public charge point when you’re on the go. The electric range of a hybrid car can vary but some hybrids can provide around 20-40 miles of zero-emissions driving. this means that if you travel within this range during recharges, you can benefit from a full EV but without the higher purchase price. If you run out of electric range, the petrol or diesel engine simply just kicks in without you even realising and you can carry on with your journey.
Which type of hybrid car is the best?
Knowing which hybrid car to buy can be hard. However, it can come down to how far you travel and your range. If you want something a little more eco-friendly but that resembles the look and feel of a petrol or diesel car, you may be best suited to a mild hybrid as the electric motor is only used to boost efficiency. A full hybrid can be a great stepping stone between electric and hybrid as they only have a small electric range and are mainly used to assist the engine. A plug-in hybrud tends to be more expensive to buy but you could benefit from much lower running costs when you only drive within the electric range and recharge your vehicle at home and overnight.