The concept of alternative fuel and eco-friendly vehicles has been in development for decades, the first hybrid to be mass produced was the Toyota Hybrid in 1991, which was only available in Japan. Since then Hybrid vehicles have been a growing market for the last twenty years with more and more manufacturers offering variants of their core models or uniquely designed models such as the Nissan Leaf. A Hybrid car is any vehicle that uses both electric power and conventional fuels such as Petrol or Diesel, the hybrid configuration can vary depending on the manufacturer and model, this can be low speed electric for city driving or electric boost was seen in Formula One cars called KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) a similar system is used in exotic cars like the LaFerrari.
How many Hybrid Cars?
Over the last decade, there has been a boom of hybrid vehicles on sale in the UK, although the market has been diluted by full electric variants and models. Hybrid power systems continue to impact the UK market, the most popular vehicles are Plug-in Hybrid Electric vehicles or PHEVs. More than 162,000 hybrid vehicles are currently registered in the UK with Thousands of new hybrid vans and delivery vehicles being sold in the last 48 months. The growing market has encouraged new technology and design from almost all manufacturers currently selling in the UK, famously the Toyota Prius continues to be one of the most popular hybrid vehicles the increased tax charges on city living has prompted small city hybrids.
Best Selling Hybrids
Toyota Yaris - Currently one of the fastest selling hybrid cars due to its cheap running costs, compact nature making it a helpful little city run around. Starting price for the Yaris with a hybrid engine is a little over £16,000, being a small car the mpg of 76 mpg is relatively easily matched by most eco diesel engines, however the cleaner emissions and low-speed electric drive has made the Yaris hybrid a very popular car in large cities and the South East of England. Popular for personal leasing customers.
Mitsubishi PHEV - Hybrid doesn't mean small or slow, the Outlander PHEV combines off-road capabilities, four-wheel drive and electric power to give an astonishing driving experience, with a low electric-only range of 33 miles the EU MPG test figures quoted by Mitsubishi boast a 166 mpg combined fuel economy. The Outlander PHEV is one of the most popular lease vehicles through All Car Leasing. More popular as a business lease.
BMW i3 & i8 - Although often considered a fully electric vehicle both the i3 and i8 are available with a range extending fuel tank, the instant response of electric allows the i8 coupe to have 275 kW of power translating to 374 hp with a retail price of £112,000 the BMW is one of the most expensive hybrids available. The everyday hybrid from BMW is the i3 a market leader for luxury hybrids the i3 is a compact hatchback with a full electric functionality and a range extending fuel tank, the tested miles per gallon according to BMW is 470.8 assuming a full electric charge before using the range extender.
Hybrid Super Cars
Ferrari, Lamborghini and McLaren are not names that are often associated with energy saving and hybrid due to their design and desire to build fast cars that burn high octane fuels to generate large amounts of horsepower and speed. All the cars in our list are technically hybrids.
Ferrari LaFerrari - Besides its unusual name the LaFerrari is the first car from the manufacturer outside of the Scuderia formula one team to use an electric drive system on the car. As mentioned previously Ferrari has adapted their KERS system to work on road and track vehicles, the electric motors have been paired with a 6.3-litre V12 engine that in total generates 950 hp with a 0-62 mph time of less than 3 seconds and a top speed in excess of 217 mph.
Porsche 918 Spyder - One of the most exclusive cars in the world the 918 Spyder is the flagship for what is technically possible by the manufacturer, and as a result Porsche have squeezed a 4.6-litre V8 and electric motor to produce 874 bhp with a top speed of 214 mph marginally behind the LaFerrari with a 0-62 mph time of 2.6 seconds
New Lamborghini Asterion Concept Car - Although not much is known about the real world power and performance of the Asterion Concept, Lamborghini have released some images and data about the vehicle, it will continue to use the signature hexagonal shapes throughout the car, it will still be available in outlandish colours and the hybrid engine will produce 897 bhp from a V10 power unite and 3 electric motors the g/km of CO2 will be less than 100 and the 0-62 mph will be covered in 3 seconds the only small stat on the new Lamborghini concept is the solo electric range of 31 miles.
Hybrid engines explained
With more than 75 different models of hybrid to choose from in the UK, it is no wonder why each manufacturer has taken their own unique approach. We explain the different types of hybrid engine and their functionality.
Mild Hybrid Vehicles / MHEV
These cars are reliant on the fuel engine as the main source of power, the fuel is used to create drive as well as charging the batteries that will then feed an electric motor which is used to drive or support the combustion engine, typically a petrol powered vehicle the MHEV uses electric power to coast, brake and for features such as stop-start and launch assist. Due to the low 48 volt system, there is no need to plug in these types of hybrid vehicles.
Hybrid Electric Vehicles / HEV
The most common type of hybrid engine during the period of initial growth the standard hybrid engine is a fuel powered conventional engine that is partnered with an electric motor, the drive of the engine charges the batteries as well as coasting and braking energy the regeneration can often be matched by the power output depending on the model of car, this can result in extended periods between visits to the pump. The feel of regenerative braking is unusual at first and can vary depending on the batteries charge percentage. Typical HEV systems use the onboard electric motor to drive the car from the initial acceleration, this is then overtaken by the petrol or diesel engine when the load or speed increases, smarter systems will adapt to the driver's style and conditions to provide the best efficiency or drive.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles / PHEVs
A common alternative hybrid with manufacturers PHEVs have a smaller fuel tank than non-hybrids to accommodate for the increase in batteries. A standard engine is supported by an electric motor or in some cases the electric motor is supported by a fuel generator. The Plug-in feature allows the car to predominantly use the electric motor to reduce or limit fuel consumption. These types of hybrid can be charged using a standard UK plug or via high voltage charge points available in towns and many service stations. Recharge from braking and coasting also replenish the battery charge. The petrol or diesel engines are able to run independently without the battery have a charge.
Alternative to Hybrid vehicles
Full Electric Vehicles - a relatively small market currently growing in the UK, with the rise of manufacturers such as Tesla and all-electric models such as the Nissan Leaf fully electric cars remove the fuel tank and combustion engine entirely replacing them with a full electric motor and battery cells, the upside to this system include low running costs and extended electric drive distance over a hybrids electric-only system. However, for long journeys or for journeys away from home BEVs have to be connected to either a charge station or mains plug and charging from flat on a rapid charge to 75% on most vehicles would reduce battery life and take 45 minutes a full charge from a standard mains socket on a BMW i3 from empty to full would take between 12 - 15 hours for a maximum range minus extender of 114 miles for post 2017 models. Charging stations although much quicker are not guaranteed at services, parking spots or hotels/businesses. There is also typically an installation and maintenance charge for high voltage charging at home.
Hydrogen Fuel Cell - Although technology development in the automotive sector is very limited for Hydrogen as a fuel. Market leaders include Toyota, Honda and Mercedes-Benz spending billions of pounds in development, less than 3% of that spent on electric vehicles in the last decade. Hydrogen hybrids use purified Hydrogen stored in a compressed tank that like fuel. The hydrogen is then combined with oxygen to produce drive and water as a by-product. The issues currently stopping Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles from surpassing electric and hybrid cars is the lack of investment, the limited place currently offering hydrogen as a fuel and even fewer refineries.
If you're interested in leasing a hybrid but don't want something bland or boring, read our article on the most stylish hybrid cars.
With so many different types of hybrid to choose from it can be difficult to decide and that is why all of our staff are trained to a high standard with excellent product knowledge to find you the most suitable car for your needs whether it is a long range or low CO2 emissions you can speak to our team on 01565 880 880 or email email@example.com.
Alternatively, take a look at our special offers page to see how much you could save on your next car!