What is a hybrid car and should you buy one?
When pulling away, and at speeds up to 24km/h, the Prius only uses the electric motor for power, making it very economical for stop-start city driving. The petrol engine cuts in as speed increases, and it is used most during hard acceleration. Whenever you decelerate or use the brakes, the regenerative braking system produces electricity and stores it in the battery for use later on. The battery is big enough that the electric motor can power the car for up to 2.0kmToyota uses this system in the Yaris and Auris hatchbacks, some other notable examples of companies that adopt this method are Mercedes, Peugeot, Audi, citroën, and Land Rover just to name a few. 2. Range extender hybrid carsThese only use their conventional engine to produce electricity for a generator that recharges the batteries. The engine never drives the car, it only produces energy for the electric motor. The BMW i3 with Range Extender is one of the most popular examples. Honda Jazz (hybrid) is also another notable example. Hybrids are also categorized as either strong or mild depending on the amount of battery power they have. With more battery capacity, strong hybrids can drive further than mild ones on electric power only.3. Plug-in hybridsAs the name implies, this type of hybrid can be plugged into an electric outlet to recharge their batteries, as well as being charged on the move.Effectively, they are a halfway house between conventional hybrids and full electric vehicles. Although they have a conventional engine, they also have larger batteries than regular hybrids and can drive longer distances on electric power alone - up to 48km in some cases.There are a growing number of plug-in hybrids on offer, including The Mitsubishi Outlander, Toyota Prius and Volvo v60What are the benefits of a hybrid car?Driving a hybrid is similar to driving a conventional automatic car, so there’s little compromise on performance. Most strong hybrids will have a choice of power modes, too, ranging from eco to power, enabling the driver to choose maximum efficiency or performance depending on the driving conditions. Range anxiety isn’t an issue and you don’t need to a charging point because hybrids charge up their own batteries. Although the tax benefits of hybrid ownership aren’t as big as they used to be, company car drivers still pay less Benefit-In-Kind (BIK) tax than drivers of petrol or diesel cars, and cars emitting less than 75g/km qualify for London congestion charge exemption.