If you’ve ever wondered why electric and hybrid vehicles are becoming more popular on our roads, we have the answers and some of them may surprise you.
Low (or zero) exhaust emissions mean that electric and hybrid cars far better for the environment than a car fuelled by petrol or diesel alone. Low running costs is also a big factor in the growth of Electric Vehicles. You’ll also save on fuel and Road Tax.
In terms of the driving experience, most electric and hybrid cars have automatic transmissions, so there are no manual gears to worry about. They have an excellent reputation for being a smooth, quiet ride, that’ll get you wherever you want to go in comfort and with ease.
What’s the difference? Electric and hybrid vehicles are still relatively new to our roads, and there are still a few misconceptions about what the differences are between them. Here’s a quick comparison:
An electric car uses an electrical engine that needs to be ‘charged’ before being taken out on the road. The battery is the only source of power these cars need, but that’s not to say they’re lacking in performance! They do better than many of their petrol / diesel counterparts when it comes to BHP, mileage and tech features.
Hybrid cars feature a petrol or diesel engine, an electric motor and a small battery pack. This battery pack is powered by the engine as well as kinetic energy that is recuperated when the car is in motion, particularly when slowing down and braking. This is sometimes referred to as "self-charging". Once the car starts to accelerate again, the electric motor is powered by electricity from the batteries, helping the car gain speed.
It drives like an automatic, so there are no gears to worry about – just put your foot on the pedal and go! Not only that, but it’s much kinder to the environment as you’re emitting 50% fewer greenhouse gasses when compared to traditional vehicles - and ZERO direct emissions.
There’s a choice of manual or automatic transmission, so that’s up to you! But either way, you will definitely notice a much quieter and smoother ride, as the battery takes some of the load – meaning your gas engine doesn’t need to work as hard. You’ll also notice that your fuel consumption is dramatically reduced
Electric vehicles have a variety of benefits that could make your everyday life just that little bit easier! Not only are they better for the environment, they are quiet, low maintenance, cheaper to run and very responsive on the road. Sounds ideal!
If hybrid vehicles have caught your eye, we aren’t surprised! With incentives like lower Road Tax, not to mention the fact they're more economical, lightweight and they reduce carbon emissions! Regenerative braking means your vehicle charges itself as you drive. Perfect!
Electric vehicles are ideal if you tend to drive shorter distances, have off road parking to charge your vehicle overnight and want to contribute to reducing your carbon emissions. With the ever-growing number of charging points popping up all over the country, you’ll never find yourself short of zap!
Because hybrids offer better mileage and have higher range, they're a great option if you tend to do a lot of motorway driving. The performance of a hybrid may not be the speediest but if you are looking to save some money, they are certainly more economical! People who don’t have off road parking or easy access to charging points will find hybrids a dream!
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How do hybrid/electric cars charge?
While a standard hybrid car’s battery recharges itself, a plug-in hybrid car can be charged at home or at a public charging point, just like a fully electric car. Charging a car (also known as PHEV - plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) is easy. Much like charging a laptop or a mobile phone, you can connect your car to a 3-pin plug with an EVSE cable. For those who have access to off-street parking, they can decide to have a home charging point installed, which is usually wall-mounted on an exterior wall or garage where your vehicle is parked, perfect for charging you EV or hybrid overnight. However, there are plans for wireless charging to be introduced to allow those who do not have access to off-street parking to still be able to charge their Honda E at home.
How long does it take to charge an electric vehicle?
Generally speaking, there are 3 types of charging available:
• Slow (up to 3kW)
• Fast (7-22kW)
• Rapid (43, 50 or 120kW)
The slowest charging units will have a plug-in hybrid fully charged in around 6 to 8 hours. These are generally the most affordable units and are ideal for those who wish to charge their hybrid overnight. Alternatively, faster and slightly more expensive hybrid vehicle charging stations can charge a hybrid in as little as 3 to 4 hours. Faster still are the rapid charging stations which can be found in select public locations. These are able to charge a hybrid in as little as 30 minutes.
For the Honda E, you can charge the battery wherever you are. From your home or whilst you’re out shopping, the Honda E can reach up to 80% charge capacity in just 30 minutes on a rapid charging point. It has also been confirmed that the Honda E can be charged using the regular Type 2 AC connection.
How does a hybrid car battery work?
The hybrid car has two motors, one of which is a conventional petrol or diesel engine and the other electric. The hybrid car battery is powered by the engine and kinetic energy which is recycled when the car is in motion, particularly when applying the brakes and coming to a stop. The battery of a hybrid car is therefore self-charging and is able to supply the electric motor with power when pulling away from a stop.
The Honda e features a 35.5kWh lithium-ion battery, which is the most common battery used in EVs, and could last up to 10 years!
How far can I drive in a Hybrid/Electric car?
Due to the fact that the hybrid car has a conventional motor as well as an electric one, you can expect a similar range, or more, to that of a standard petrol or diesel car. With a full tank, the petrol CR-V will travel for around 400 miles, whilst the hybrid CR-V has a range of almost 700 miles.
However, a plug-in hybrid has the ability to travel a distance on electricity only. Most plug-in hybrid cars currency on the market offer an all-electric range of 20 to 40 miles.
The Honda E has a range of approximately 136 miles, and since the announcement that there are more electric vehicle charging points in the UK than petrol stations, there will be no need to worry about where you will get your next charge from.
Are electric cars more expensive?
Initially, electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids can be more expensive to buy. However, running and maintenance costs are significantly lower than that of a petrol or diesel car. In the UK, you could be eligible for a government grant of up to £3,500 (depending on the type of EV you want to buy) and there are savings on fuel costs, tax, congestion charges (where applicable), parking and car maintenance! To learn more about the Honda e, click here.