The age of electric and hybrid cars is upon us. Economical and better for the environment, hybrid cars are slowly becoming more and more popular with potential buyers.
You’re probably wondering what exactly is a hybrid car and how does it work? What types of hybrid vehicles are there? And, what are some of the best hybrid models available? Provided below is all you need to know about hybrid cars.
The Hybrid Revolution
As the name suggests, a hybrid device is usually powered by electricity. However, it also comes with an internal combustion engine that’s powered by petrol or diesel. A battery-powered motor and the combustion engine will work together to power the wheels to propel the vehicle forward.
If we had to describe hybrid cars in one word, it would be ‘efficient’. The electric motor helps power the vehicle when driving at low speeds, saving both energy and money. When it’s time to pick up speed, the combustion engine takes over and keeps things rolling.
Constant stops and slow driving is the main reason why most of us spend so much on petrol. With a hybrid vehicle, the electric motor can power the car up to a driving speed of approximately 25km/h. In just one year of service, a hybrid car could save you hundreds of dollars.
Types of Hybrid Vehicles
Depending on the way a hybrid utilises electricity, we can group vehicles into three main categories.
Mild Hybrid (MHEV)
A mild hybrid usually comes with a small battery and an electric motor that can power the car’s headlights. This also controls the radio and AC system. The engine turns off when the car is slowing down or stopping.
It’s important to keep in mind that the electric motor in mild hybrid models is not powerful enough to power the wheels. This basically means that you will be relying on a traditional combustion engine most of the time. With smaller batteries and friendlier retail prices, mild hybrids may be more accessible for people looking to slowly transition to electric.
Unlike mild hybrids, hybrids are capable of running just on electricity. Still, their battery can only be recharged through regenerative braking. In other words, the car can collect some of the energy that would otherwise be lost when braking, and this energy is used to replenish the battery.
Hybrids are self-regenerative, meaning you can’t charge the vehicle from an external source. Hybrids are super economical, and when used in the city can go on for days with minimal fuel consumption.
However, because hybrids rely on deceleration to charge, weaker batteries may die way too quickly (e.g. if you drive outside the city or are often on the highway).
Plug-in Hybrid (PHEV)
Plug-in hybrids are, in many ways, superior to both mild hybrid and hybrid models. As you may have already guessed, you can plug these into an external source to recharge the batteries. We’re basically looking at a full-electric range of models that can, when needed, perform at maximum level with the help of powerful combustion engines.
Unlike hybrid models, you can easily top the batteries up overnight and don’t have to rely on your car’s self-regenerating electric power mode. When compared to conventional petrol powered vehicles, plug-in hybrids can reduce energy costs by up to 60% and by up to 40% when compared to a standard hybrid vehicle.
The autonomy and charging technology that defines plug-in hybrids makes them a little bit pricier than other hybrids. If you’re looking to go full-electric, but the lack of necessary power is holding you back, a plug-in hybrid may be what you need. However, if you travel more than 40km a day, you may find a standard hybrid vehicle to be a better choice cost-wise.
The Benefits of a Hybrid Car
There are many reasons why one may consider switching to hybrids, so we have listed some of the benefits below:
Hybrids are better for the environment
Less fuel means less harmful emissions, which is what we need to endorse a positive future. Hybrids are environmentally-friendly alternatives to conventional petrol-powered vehicles. And, as more people make the switch over the coming years, we can expect manufacturers to create better and more efficient hybrids.
Hybrids are economical
Although more expensive to buy, hybrids actually end up costing less in the long run. They are usually lighter and smaller than conventional petrol-powered vehicles, which results in even greater energy saving. In an attempt to promote hybrid and electric cars, most states have introduced energy-saving tax incentives. As an example, in Victoria, owners of electric cars can get $100 off their annual rego. Likewise, In the Australian Capital Territory, owners will pay $0 stamp duty on their EV and get 20% off their rego. More incentives are expected over the coming years as electric vehicles gain traction in the Australian markets.
Hybrids are not as dependent on fossil fuels
Since hybrids require less fuel to run, they are also less dependent on fossil fuels. Those who drive hybrid cars are in a way shielded from sudden increases in the price of petrol. Everyone benefits; the more hybrid and electric cars in the market, the lower the price of petrol.
Hybrids have a higher resale value
Conventional petrol-powered cars may be cheaper but tend to lose most of their value from the moment they’re driven out of the shop. As petrol prices keep soaring, more and more people will want to get their hands on electric-powered vehicles. Even if you change your mind a few months down the line, your hybrid car will likely have a high resale value.
Best Hybrid Cars
Not all hybrid cars are created equal. Here are some of the best hybrid cars available for purchase right now:
Hyundai IONIQ Hybrid: The new IONIQ Hybrid combines power and efficiency for a satisfyingly smooth driving experience. Beautiful both inside and outside, IONIQ drives much like a conventional petrol-powered vehicle. Its innovative electric motor kicks in to provide additional assistance when needed. The model features regenerative braking, allowing you to automatically harvest energy by capturing kinetic energy.
Hyundai IONIQ Plug-in Hybrid: The IONIQ Plug-in Hybrid combines the best of both worlds. Stylish and sustainable, it seamlessly switches between electric and hybrid to ensure maximum performance and efficiency. You can easily plug in and charge the high-voltage lithium-ion battery in less than two and a half hours. To make sure you’re never out of juice, this model utilises a smart regenerative braking system.
Ford’s powerful new generation of hybrid and electric vehicles are ready to hit the market. The Escape PHEV will be available in Australia in 2021. With a wide range of available models, you’re sure to find a car that’s right for you.
Mitsubishi is also known to produce efficient hybrid models. For example, the Outlander PHEV is a plug-in hybrid with incredible capabilities. Sophisticated yet practical, it combines the quietness of an electric vehicle, the power and stability of an AWD and the convenience of an SUV.
Not sure if a hybrid is the right choice for you? Visit Booth’s Motor Group today and discover a wide range of high-performing vehicles or speak to our professional team.