A hybrid vehicle utilises both a conventional combustion engine (petrol or diesel) and an electric motor. The electric element can work in conjunction with the combustion element to provide additional power or, if required, operate on the electric element independently for a very short period of time (covering low speeds). Hybrid vehicles have been available in the UK for a number of years; Toyota and Lexus are renowned for their use of hybrid technology. However, more manufacturers are moving their latest product towards a “mild-hybrid” or “self-charging hybrid”.
Unlike some of the other “eco-car” options, a hybrid vehicle is not restricted by an electric range. As this uses a combustion engine, the driver needs to ensure there is sufficient fuel in exactly the same way as any other standard combustion engine vehicle. When you are researching a hybrid vehicle you don’t need to ask how far it can travel on “electric-only” as this will be nominal. There is no such thing as “range anxiety” with a hybrid vehicle
A hybrid does not require charging via an external charging point. The battery will charge as the vehicles moves or brakes (known as regenerative braking). As such, the full system will operate effectively when the vehicle is regularly accelerating and braking. You don’t need to enquire with your dealership or leasing broker about charging times or external charge points.
A hybrid does not need to be charged via an external source; there are no home charging unit costs, overnight charging concerns or excessive leads/equipment. The hybrid is the easiest (and least time consuming) vehicle to operate in the eco-car range. Some view this is a gateway vehicle to the more electrified options.
A hybrid can offer the driving performance (and experience) of a combustion engine coupled with enhanced economy. For those with urban-style driving conditions, the electric element will assist where there are low speeds. As many manufactures are moving towards petrol and diesel hybrid cars, there are enough engine choices to meet the needs of most driving styles and behaviours.
For company car drivers, a hybrid will offer an improved position on CO2. This will assist when calculating BiK/company car tax exposure. From April 2020, the use of electric-style cars is going to be crucial.
A hybrid will not be able to offer pure electric for more than a mile or so. For environmentally-minded customers, this may not be suitable. With pressures on the UK to reduce CO2 and owns/cities moving towards emissions-based charging, the hybrid car may not be the best long-term solution.
A hybrid will often be more expensive to lease than a combustion engine equivalent. For personal users, the reduced running costs may balance this. However, for company car users on a rental banding/budget, the hybrid may not be affordable.
For company car drivers, the changes in April 2020 benefit pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles more so than a hybrid. The potential tax savings are significantly less with a hybrid due the CO2 it produces.
The eCarLease UK team are experts in electric car and van leasing. As part of the CarLease UK group of companies (carlease.uk.com) we have over 50 years experience in selling and leasing new vehicles to happy customers.
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