Although hybrids have been around since 1997 with the first Toyota Prius, they are still relatively new to the automotive market and many people still don’t have a full understanding of what hybrids can offer them.
So, to tackle this we’ve put together a frequently asked questions list! We hope you can find the answers to your questions here but by all means get in touch if there’s anything else you’d like to know. Scroll down for the answers!
- What is a hybrid car?
- What are the benefits of a hybrid car?
- Does improved efficiency mean reduced power / pleasure of driving?
- Do they need plugging in?
- What is a plug-in hybrid?
- How do hybrids work?
- What is a full hybrid?
- Do I have to switch between power sources? And are they complicated to drive?
- How long do batteries last?
- Are there any hidden costs?
- Which manufacturers are leading the way with hybrid technology?
- What are hybrid cars like to drive?
If you would rather watch an entertaining video explaining all you need to know about Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive, then press play here!
1. What is a hybrid car?
A hybrid car is a vehicle which uses two or more energy sources, one of which being electricity. Modern hybrid cars combine the fuel and engine of a conventional vehicle along with the batteries and electric motor of an electric vehicle in a single drivetrain.
Usually, the hybrid car will recharge its batteries while being driven. In particular when cruising or idling, some of the output of the combustion engine is fed to a generator which produces electricity to charge the batteries. This is a notable contrast to all-electric cars, which require charging via an external source.
2. What are the benefits of a hybrid car?
- Hybrid cars significantly improve fuel economy (less worries over the rising cost of fuel)
- They emit very low amounts of emissions
- Zero road tax
- Despite improving on fuel efficiency, there is no sacrifice on driving performance or driving range!
- To purchase a new hybrid, the cost isn’t far off purchasing a new normal petrol or diesel car (The Yaris Hybrid in particular is affordable starting at just £14,995) This is due to the technology becoming more advanced over the years.
3. Does improved efficiency mean reduced power / pleasure of driving?
We’re dedicated to maximising both driving pleasure and efficiency in equal measure. Toyota engineering ensures that our hybrid cars feel responsive and enjoyable to drive. You can even achieve an impressive 75mpg with a hybrid which can do 0-60 in 10 seconds.
4. Do they need plugging in?
Unless the hybrid model has the words “plug-in” attached to the name, then it won’t need plugging in. There is a common misconception that ALL hybrids need plugging in – but this is wrong. Only the models with “plug-in” next to their name will require it; the rest manage to re-charge their own batteries whenever the car is used. So, in other words, don’t worry about it and just drive!
5. What is a plug-in hybrid?
Plug-in hybrids are hybrids which can be plugged into an electrical outlet. This actually makes them even more economical than regular hybrids as you won’t be using petrol to charge the batteries as you drive along. For example, the brand new Prius Plug-In – take a look at it here.
6. How do hybrids work?
Hybrid-electric vehicles combine the benefits of gasoline engines and electric motors to provide improved fuel economy. The engine provides most of the vehicle’s power, and the electric motor provides additional power when needed, such as for accelerating and passing. This allows a smaller, more-efficient engine to be used.
7. What is a full hybrid?
Full hybrids also referred to as ‘true hybrids’. Full hybrids are defined as hybrids that can run on either pure engine power or pure electric power, or a combined operation, which maximize efficiency and performance.
8. Do I have to switch between power sources? And are they complicated to drive?
You don’t have to worry about switching between power sources – the car will effectively work it out for you! The cars are able to automatically register how you’re using the throttle and decides whether to drive with the electric motor, petrol or both. This makes them easy and simple to drive – just drive along normally and the car’s system will seamlessly work behind the scenes to optimise fuel efficiency and performance.
9. How long do batteries last?
Years and years and years and years….. you get the idea! To give you some additional piece of mind, you’ll also get an 8 year warranty on the battery.
9. Are there any hidden costs?
None! In-fact, hybrid cars cost much less to run than conventional cars and also have no road tax.
10. Which manufacturers are leading the way with hybrid technology?
Toyota and Lexus are leading the way with hybrid cars in every aspect, from the quality of the engine builds, to the mpg and 0-60 performance. Toyota launched the first hybrid and have been refining the engines / batteries each year, consistently managing to improve the performance as-well as bringing the costs down. Lexus launched the first luxury hybrid car and now focuses their efforts on hybrid technology.
11. Is the performance of a hybrid less than a normal petrol / diesel car?
You can drive the hybrid car just like a conventional car and often the driving performance is greater than other car brands. Just for example, a Toyota hybrid can do around 0-60 in 10 seconds and around 75mpg (depending on the model), whereas a lot of high mpg conventional cars will do 0-60 in around 15 seconds and achieve around 60mpg (again it depends on the make and model).
Additionally, the responsive drive and engaging feel to the hybrid cars is improving rapidly each year. You can expect to see hybrid cars becoming much more mainstream than they ever have been.
12. What are hybrid cars like to drive?
Find out! Call now on 01782 608579 and arrange a no obligation test drive. For tips on how to maximise your fuel economy just click here.