If youíve 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. Youíll 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, thatíll get you wherever you want to go in comfort and with ease.
Whatís 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. Hereís a quick comparison:
An electric car uses an electrical engine that needs to be Ďchargedí before being taken out on the road. The battery is the only source of power these cars need, but thatís not to say theyíre 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 Ė just put your foot on the pedal and go! Not only that, but itís much kinder to the environment as youíre emitting 50% fewer greenhouse gasses when compared to traditional vehicles - and ZERO direct emissions.
Thereís a choice of manual or automatic transmission, so thatís up to you! But either way, you will definitely notice a much quieter and smoother ride, as the battery takes some of the load Ė meaning your gas engine doesnít need to work as hard. Youíll 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 arenít 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, youíll 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 donít have off road parking or easy access to charging points will find hybrids a dream!
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How do hybrid cars charge?
While a standard hybrid carís battery recharges itself, a plug-in hybrid car can be charged at home or at a public charging point. Charging a plug-in hybrid 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. However, some people with off-street parking decide to have a home charging point installed. This is usually wall-mounted on an exterior wall or garage where your vehicle is parked.
How long does it take to charge a plug-in hybrid car?
Generally speaking, there are 3 types of charging available:
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.
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.
How far can I drive with a hybrid 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.
What does it cost to charge a plug-in hybrid car?
Charging a standard hybrid car is as simple as driving since the battery is recharged by the movement (particularly the slowing down) of the vehicle. However, the plug-in hybrid can be charged at home, work or at a public charging station. For this reason, the cost can vary depending on where youíre charging your hybrid car.
In some cases, you may be able to charge your hybrid car for free if you can find a free hybrid public charging point or if your workplace offers free charging facilities. Another cost-effective solution (in comparison to paying to use a paid-for public charging station) is to charge your hybrid car at home if you have off-street parking.