Should I lease a hybrid or electric vehicle?
Choosing a type of fuel for your next new car is no longer as easy as you would think; traditionally you would be considering petrol v diesel. Or manual v auto at a push. As at 2021, the landscape for new vehicles is an interesting one with hybrids, pure electric vehicles and even hydrogen. Only this week, Land Rover threw a large spanner into the “electric” works with their new project Zeus initiative
The British car manufacturer will be looking to add a hydrogen fuel cell powertrain for the new Defender, which will effectively replace the petrol or diesel combustion engines being used. The car will be filled up at a hydrogen gas facility (of which there are not many places to do this!) and this will be used by the vehicle as per the below (Credit to: This Is Money Website). The benefit of hydrogen is that the “emissions” are effectively just water and therefore this would be a highly green solution indeed.
Some advocates believe that hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are the future of our automotive industry and this is something which should be considered in addition to lithium-ion technology. With the project being backed by Government funding, this is set to be more than just a cursory test and will inevitably see a new and exciting fuel option reaching the UK car markets. Also note that hydrogen is being considered for use in the home i.e. with our boilers. Watch this space.
Which hybrid car is the best?
As part of the discussion, you will often see or hear the use of the word “hybrid” and this seems to make customers get pretty excited. However, we often slow the customer down when they ask for a hybrid, by firstly saying “which hybrid do you want?” In most cases they will not be able to answer the question, as they will simply not understand the different types of hybrid. Or, in most cases, the customer is actually unaware that different options for hybrids are available. For example you can choose:
- Self-charging / full hybrid; or
- Plug-In Hybrid
The phrases above probably seem quite familiar to many of you but there is a presumption they are synonymous or are some type of generic description for all hybrid type of technology. Much of this is the fault of manufacturers who do use the word hybrid as nothing more than an advertising tool as part of this electrification revolution ahead of the big 2030 changes. While this seems a fashionable phrase we run a risk of making customers believe that the hybrid car they are receiving is akin to a pure electric vehicle and the customer is somehow saving the environment with this decision.
Or, as we notice more commonly, the customer thinks it is a gateway to an electric car. The truth is that a hybrid (even a PHEV) is a completely different experience to running an electric car and if you like one it does not mean you like the other. So should I lease an electric car instead of a hybrid? Not exactly. As part of our lease process we provide key details which help you understand if a pure electric car meets your needs and requirements – range, charge times, charging types and specification. Not every customer has the infrastructure or facilities to run or manage an electric car.
What types of hybrid cars are available?
What we suggest is for a customer to understand the actual car and the engine type first. Armed with the correct information, a customer can make the right decision and not make one purely on budget or a well-placed advertisement. For a hybrid you are still looking at a petrol or diesel option; most will be in a petrol format but modern diesels now have some form of a “hybrid-isation”.
The mild-hybrid is a more modern and nouveau concept and needs to be understood for what it is – this is a very SMALL battery which exists in the engine to help increase fuel economy and reduce emissions; but often this is only slightly beneficial and will not have the seismic impact drivers believe. The vehicle will not even operate on its independent electric element i.e. this is a combustion engine vehicle only and it will emit whether you are stationary or driving. Mild hybrid technology is common on all manufacturer models, budget or premium. For the slightly more eco-conscious customers, a full or self-charging hybrid may be a more viable option.
Operating in a similar format to the mild option, this is effectively a bigger lithium-ion battery which more significantly reduces emission and increases fuel economy. Unlike the mild-hybrid, this will allow “electric-only” driving for a very small period of time. Both forms of hybrids mentioned here do not require charging, by which we mean that neither car would have to be plugged into a 3-pin plug or car charging unit to operate properly. They are not, as some believe, self-charging electric vehicles; this is a misnomer
The car shown, a Plug-In Hybrid, is a newer and more popular version of the hybrid but this works differently from the cars above. The PHEV is again a combustion engine, petrol or diesel, which is coupled with a more substantial lithium-ion battery. The PHEV does need external charging to achieve the advertised ratings. You will see cars like the Range Rover plugged into the same car charge points as an EV; this is because they charge in exactly the same way.
However, the battery in a PHEV is much smaller than a pure EV, so pure electric driving is limited to a 15-30 mile range. Where PHEVs do work are for those drivers with mixed-use commutes or driving routes and who not have the time or facility to regularly charge the car. When the battery is insufficiently charged it does still work but will only do so on the combustion engine alone. We have seen some customers complain about MPG or CO2 being unrealistic on their vehicles but this is often because they are not charging the PHEV on a regular basis.
In contrast, the hybrid above will effectively charge when the car moves or brakes (brake regeneration). Is a PHEV a gateway to electric cars? We think it depends on the customer’s approach and if they are charging regularly and monitoring their EV-only driving, there may be a case for it. However, with many pure electric cars offering substantial ranges and charging times, the insurance policy a PHEV offers is actually not necessary. We do find that some customers ask for ranges in excess of 300 miles when they never actually do this in one trip!
The key to finding the best hybrid or electric car leasing deal is to understand what the product is and how it will work for you or the business. If you are unsure, just ask the e-car lease team!
In terms of the car shown, the Range Rover Sport Estate 2.0 P400e HSE Dynamic Black 5dr Auto (PHEV – Plug-In Hybrid Electric Vehicle / Petrol), this is based on the following configuration:
- Santorini Black Metallic Paint
- Perforated Windsor Leather – Ebony, Ebony/Ebony colourway, Ebony headlining
- 21″ 9 spoke gloss black alloy wheels – style 9001
- Grey anodised brake calipers with Land Rover script
- Body coloured roof
- Grand black veneer
As standard the car includes Fixed panoramic sunroof with electric sunblind, Power fold, heated door mirrors with memory and approach lights, 16 way electric adjustable driver/passenger seats with memory, winged headrests.
360 degree parking aid, blind spot assist, front and rear parking aid, lane departure warning, high speed emergency braking, park assist, rear traffic monitor, traffic sign recognition, ambient interior lighting, cabin pre-conditioning.
Front + rear carpet mats, power tailgate, red brake calipers, meridian 825W sound system, 21” alloys wheels (In black), acoustic front and rear class, adaptive dynamics, adaptive brake lights, android auto, Bluetooth, DAB, black exterior pack, electric air suspension.
Gradient control, heated steering wheel, heated windscreen and washer jets, hill launch assist, hill descent control, keyless entry, LED rear maps, navigation pro system, privacy glass, rain sensing wipers, remote premium, touch pro duo system and smartphone pack. In terms of additional options, consider the sliding panoramic roof, heated and cooled seats and the head up display.
On the technical side, company car and business users can note the P11d at £79,385.00 and CO2 at 83g/km – for a 40% tax payer in England this equates to around £530 per month in company car tax.
The 1997CC petrol engine is coupled with a lithium-ion battery (13kWH). The WLTP EV-only range would be around 25 miles on a full charge and this should charge on a home charge point (7.4kW) in around 2-3 hours.
The RR Sport PHEV offers 77 WLTP combined MPG and performance of 404bhp getting the car from 0-62 in 6.3 seconds. Service intervals are every 24 months or 21,000 miles.