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Hybrid Cars

A hybrid car is one which is powered by two forms of propulsion – normally, this is a combustion engine, together with an electric motor.

Depending on the design of the hybrid car, the electric motor can usually assist the engine to give more power (for example under acceleration), or alternatively, it can sometimes be used to drive the vehicle on electric power alone - saving fuel by switching off the combustion engine. Normal petrol and diesel engines are least efficient when setting off from stationary, or when driving at slower speeds in low gears. They have to rev quite a bit to get the power to move, which uses more fuel.

Electric motors have all of their power available from zero rpm, so they don’t need to be worked as hard to get the car moving. They are also able to be used as generators, so if the car is slowing down, the motor can charge the battery to allow it to save energy and use it again.

So by using the electric motors where possible around town, and using the petrol/diesel engine once the car is up to speed, a hybrid car can typically get much better mpg than a “normal” combustion-engined vehicle, without requiring a massive change of driving style. The car switches between the driving modes for you, so it can always optimise according to the vehicle’s speed and load.

Usually, hybrids are only available with automatic or semi-automatic gearboxes, as the car needs to be able to control the gears to get the most out of the available engine and motor power.

Hybrid cars have been around for over 20 years, with excellent reliability reports. Nowadays, they represent a growing segment of the UK car market, with most car manufacturers offering hybridisation of their models to reduce emissions whilst still giving customers a familiar driving experience.

Electric Cars

ELECTRIC CARS

EVs are powered solely by electricity. They don’t have an engine, or a fuel tank – instead, they have a motor & a large high-voltage battery.

Hybrid Cars

HYBRID CARS

A hybrid car is one which is powered by two forms of propulsion – normally, this is a combustion engine, together with an electric motor.

Plug-In Hybrid

PLUG-IN HYBRID

A hybrid with a much larger battery - up to 30 miles or more on a charge. Plug-ins need to be charged like regular EVs.

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