What is a hybrid car?
Hybrid cars use both a conventional combustion engine (petrol or diesel) and an electric motor. The electric element can work in conjunction with the combustion element to deliver additional power or, if needed, operate on the electric element independently for a very short time (covering low speeds). Unlike some of the other “eco” options, hybrid cars are not restricted by an electric range. As they use a combustion engine, drivers needs to ensure there is sufficient fuel in exactly the same way as any other standard combustion engine vehicle. Popular examples of hybrid cars include the Toyota Rav4, Kia Niro (hybrid) and Lexus UX.
When considering a hybrid car, you can select either a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV), Plug-in-Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) or a Mild Hybrid (MHEV). But you might be thinking, what is the difference between these options? Firstly, a HEV and PHEV differ as the latter can be plugged in to recharge, whereas the HEV recharges via regenerative braking. Using similar technology to the hybrid, the PHEV offers bigger battery capacity (but which is smaller than a pure electric vehicle). Popular examples of a PHEV include the BMW 330e, Mitsubishi Outlander (PHEV) and Volvo XC60 Hybrid. Meanwhile, a mild hybrid car is like a HEV, although its smaller battery means you can’t drive it on solely battery power. A great selection of mild hybrid cars are available nowadays including the Ford Puma, Suzuki Swift and Hyundai Tucson.
Do I need to charge a hybrid car?
If you opt for a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) or a Mild Hybrid (MHEV), then the answer is no. This is because the electric motor part uses stored energy in batteries. The battery charges as the car moves or brakes and therefore a hybrid does not require charging via an external charging point. As such, the full system will operate effectively when the vehicle is regularly accelerating and braking.
Parallel hybrids are unique in that they solely charge the battery by capturing and converting excess energy to electricity. Excess energy is saved in the battery for later use, such as regenerative braking, instead of being wasted when the car is idle or decelerating.
Benefits of Hybrid Cars
Environmentally conscious drivers will be happy to know that hybrid cars are more environmentally friendly than the equivalent petrol or diesel car. This is because they produce fewer emissions and therefore are a greener, cleaner option.
Hybrid cars can offer the driving performance (and experience) of a combustion engine coupled with enhanced economy. For those with urban-style driving conditions, the electric element will assist where there are low speeds.
For company car drivers, a hybrid car will offer an improved position on CO2. This will assist when calculating BIK/company car tax exposure.
Hybrid cars can use less fuel to run and therefore are less dependent on fossil fuels. With the rising price of fuel, drivers of hybrid cars can take this as a little win.
Range anxiety isn’t an issue with hybrid cars because they are able to operate using the conventional combustion engine if the electric range is insufficient.
Best Hybrid Cars
If you’re considering a hybrid car but are unsure which one suits you best, GB Vehicle Leasing are here to help. We’ve decided to take a look at a selection of the best hybrid cars which you might like. With a wide selection from superminis to SUVs, we're confident we could find you something you like.
Suzuki Swace - a self-charging hybrid with a spacious, high quality interior. Plus, this Suzuki has a 596-litre boot capacity and offers good fuel economy, as well as reliability. Suzuki Swace leasing is a great option if you’re looking to lease a hybrid car in estate form. Like every new Suzuki, the Suzuki Swace comes with a three years or 60,000 miles warranty (whichever comes first) for peace of mind.
Kia Niro - a practical family SUV, available as either a self-charging hybrid or plug-in hybrid. This well-designed car offers a comfortable drive, excellent reliability and has plenty of equipment available including active safety and connectivity technologies. Designed for fuel efficiency and practicality, the Niro might be an excellent option for your next Kia hybrid car.
Toyota Yaris - a fantastic supermini which has been upgraded with sportier looks. As one of Toyota’s best-selling models, Toyota Yaris leasing offers great fuel efficiency thanks to its petrol-hybrid engine option. A Yaris lease car is also fun to drive and cruises along well. Alternatively, take a look at the new Toyota Yaris Cross which is bigger in size as it’s a crossover SUV.
Honda Jazz - refined with a new style and now featuring Honda hybrid car technology. A Honda Jazz lease gets you a practical small hybrid car which is ideal for driving around town. Inside the Honda Jazz, the spacious interior and excellent legroom means you can enjoy a comfortable journey. As for luggage space, the Honda Jazz has a 298-litre boot when all seats are in place.
Have you considered leasing a Land Rover Plug-In Hybrid? Click here to read our blog and find out more about your options.