Incentivising the move towards lower emission vehicles is a core part of the Government’s ‘Road to Zero’ emissions strategy, aimed at making customers choose lower-emission cars or those with zero tailpipe emissions.
Indeed, from 2030, the sale of new non-hybrid petrol and diesel cars will be banned. But which is best for you? Hybrid, or full-electric? Here are the differences – and if you’re confused then get yourself down to your local Eden Motor Group sire, where our fully-trained and friendly team members will happily guide you through which option might work best for you in a no-pressure, no hard-sell environment that will guide you in making your future transport choices.
Like many other motorists, you may have decided you’d like to make the move to a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or full electric vehicle, but it’s important to understand the differences between the three and their pros and cons.
A hybrid, or more commonly known today as mild hybrid, is nothing new. The Toyota Prius was the first mass-produced hybrid, followed by the Honda Insight over 20 years ago.
Hybrid cars come with a petrol or diesel engine that works in tandem with a separate electric motor. They are able to drive with either the electric motor alone, combustion engine alone, or (more usually) a combination of the two.
The battery is usually small and takes its charge from the engine itself, meaning it can take a charge on the move but very rarely will power the car alone. Because hybrid cars can drive only a short distance on batteries alone, and usually not more than a mile or so, they tend to make the most sense in town. Stop-start conditions mean you can creep along in traffic in electric mode but on the open road the engine kicks in to do most of the work.
Manufacturer mpg claims for hybrids may sound optimistic but the low official figures can be a big help to company-car users thanks to the reduced Benefit-in-Kind taxes.
The main elements of a plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) are similar to a standard hybrid car, as you still have a battery and electric motor plus a petrol or diesel engine. The big difference is that the battery is larger, allowing a PHEV to drive further in EV mode. The battery’s size means it can’t be recharged by the car as it drives along like a mild hybrid - instead, you plug it in to charge like a standard EV.
On a full charge, a PHEV will allow you to drive up to 50 miles (depending on make and model), with the petrol or diesel engine taking over once the batteyr is spent. They’re a greta choice for commuters, though, and running costs will vary depending no your average daily or weekly mileage and the opportunity you have to charge. They’re convenient, too. Can’t find a charging point? Fine, just carry on petrol or diesel until you can. As the charging network in the UK continues to evolve, it’s a wait worth holding on for.
PHEVs are usually very quick, too, as the electric motor gives an extra boost when needed, while extremely low emissions figures mean they attract even lower company car-tax rates than mild hybrids.
Fully electric cars are booming at the moment as batteries get cheaper and lighter and EV range increases.
You can get everything from superminis to SUVs with pure-electric drivetrains, with models such as the Vauxhall Corsa-e proving massively popular among city motorists. But they are reliant on you being able to charge them and the car having sufficient range to operate within your needs. They’re not for everyone – yet – which is why a Plug-In Hybrid is the perfect stop-gap.
Only pure-electric vehicles now qualify for the government plug-in car grant, which offers up to £1,500 off the list price of electric models costing under £32,000. If you own a PHEV or EV and live in a flat or rent your place of residence, the good news is that you may also qualify for the EV charge point grant, where the government will contribute 75% towards the cost of installing a home wallbox charger, up to a cap of £350. In addition, Benefit-in-Kind tax for company car users is just 2% until at least April 2024.
EVs can look fairly pricy to buy but that’s only part of the story, as their running cost are so low and some of the leasing and finance deals are very attractive. Pop into your local Eden dealership and we’ll happily take you through the options, costs and help you work out which is the best electric or hybrid option for your own motoring needs.
All information correct at the time of publication