The answer, of course, varies by driver type, the requirements needed for the car and also budget.
However, while there may not be a one-size-fits-all answer (how nice and easy, if somewhat boring would that be…) there are a number of things to take into consideration.
In this page, we hope to make it a bit easier for you to make the decision about whether an electric or hybrid car might be right for you and, if so, which one.
One key difference nowadays is that there is unquestionably a hybrid or electric option that would suit every type of driver.
It may be that you only need a small car for short journeys into the city centre, or you might have to regularly travel the length of the country to meet clients.
Often, a car will be required for a range of purposes - the commute, the shopping trips, holidays and more. Again, there will be a suitable electric or hybrid car.
There are several different types of electric and hybrid car and we will run through the details below.
It is also worth saying that you don’t really need to know the difference at this stage. It is useful information to have, it will help you compare and contrast for online searches, but you can also tell any reputable dealership your requirements and they can come up with suggestions for suitable cars.
Here, we will look at the different types, outline what sets each apart and also give thought to which type of driver / circumstance they might be suited to.
A full electric car is the most advanced option - unlike all hybrids it doesn’t have a combustion engine, fuel tank or exhaust system.
All power comes from the battery-powered electric motor.
The electric option is the most environmentally friendly. It consumes no energy when stationary, emits zero fumes and so is the option that is most sustainable as we all deal with issues such as global warming and pollution.
The fact there is no need to refuel keeps ongoing costs down, maintenance costs can also be minimal - the electric motor system has fewer moving parts than the combustion engine. Further incentives come in the form of government purchase schemes, reduced road tax and also being exempt from congestion charges in some low emission zones.
The cars do require charging, this can be at home or at a specialist charging point (which are, of course, increasingly common at supermarkets, petrol stations and more). To get a sense for how many charging points there are in any region, have a look at the
The range has also grown greatly in recent years, the new Ford range can go up to 370 miles on a full charge (this of course varies by driving conditions and the nature of the journey). Clearly, though, the range is now suitable for the vast majority of journeys and so there is no need for a recharge mid journey. The length of time recharging will take varies by the type of charging station used - the fastest can deliver 350 more miles of range per hour.
Some people are put off electric cars because of myths about length of time to charge, or perceived lack of acceleration (actually, they can have acceleration that betters that of a standard combustion engine).
The other options are all hybrids, the difference then being the size of battery and so how much of the load is taken off the standard combustion engine.
This is the version of this technology that makes the least use of a better, it may be considered a first step into the full world of electric cars. The combustion engine is assisted by an electric motor.
The battery charges itself through regenerative braking and so there is no need to charge it.
The range for electric only driving would be extremely short, just a few miles. The electric motor in these cars acts to reduce the stress on the combustion engine, for instance when starting, or stop-start in traffic. Emissions are reduced and that bit less fuel will be used by the car.
A hybrid vehicle has a larger battery and more powerful motor than the mild option and so parts of journeys can be driven purely on the electric motor (low speed parts, for instance around a town or city).
Driving range is increased and fuel consumption is lowered; a pair of bonuses with significant advantage.
The plug-in hybrid vehicles are similar to the HEV option above, but can be charged from an external power supply, this helping to recharge the larger battery that this model features.
They are capable of zero emission driving for reasonable distances, can switch to hybrid mode to save battery life and then to petrol or diesel only for longer journeys.
In years to come, perhaps every model will come with a range of hybrid options and a full electric version too. We are not close to that stage yet.
Anyone considering buying an electric or hybrid vehicle has to consider both the type from the options above but then also the model and whether this has the type of hybrid or electric option you want.
If you want a fully electric car then the range of choice across all manufacturers will be relatively small, though that isn’t to say there aren’t compelling choices, There are far more hybrid engines and options available.
The Savings Available
With all options there are savings on fuel costs and often maintenance too.
Other savings will depend on the option chosen and also the available schemes at the time. With a fully electric vehicle, there are incentives to buy (at the time of writing), while there are also options to offset purchase cost against company profits.
If you would like assistance to help you work out likely savings and details of any help to buy, please contact us as we have experts who are fully across all the latest details of all schemes and incentives.
At OMC, we believe our reputation and proven track record demonstrates our commitment to quality. We have survived and flourished in Manchester for more than a century, this success for a family-owned business relying on word of mouth recommendation and repeat business.
In more modern times, with internet reviews important, we have flourished here too. In an industry where many dealers suffer from low, one and two star reputations, ours is four and five stars across multiple independent review sites.
• Reviews of OMC Motorogroup from ford.co.uk (4.7 out of 5 rating from 300 reviews)
We provide a no-pressure environment but have the expertise and Ford specialism to answer queries you might have about their range of superb hybrid vehicles.
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