Look up the word hybrid in a dictionary and you find variations on a theme of it being composed of different elements. And that’s what a hybrid car is, composed of differing elements of propulsion. A car that isn’t completely petrol or diesel, but isn't completely electric. This means combining a petrol and diesel engine powered by the internal combustion engine, as found in conventional cars, with an electric motor that relies on battery energy, as found in electric cars.
Hybrid cars tend to be marketed in terms of being a best-of-both-worlds car. A greener car that isn’t wreaking havoc on the planet but without any poor performance. The petrol or diesel internal combustion engine can work on its own as can the electric powered engine. Or they can work in tandem.
A key distinction between most hybrid cars and a fully electric vehicle is how the electric power is generated. In an electric car, you have to plug in the vehicles to charge the batteries. In a hybrid, the battery is charged by regenerative braking (capturing energy lost through braking) and the combustion engine. The added power of the electric motor in a hybrid vehicle can reduce combustion engine size, while the battery can power other things and reduce idling when stopped. All this contributes to improved fuel economy without sacrificing performance.
The move to hybrid and electric cars is due to concerns about the carbon emissions from conventional engines and broader issues relating to fossil fuel usage. The benefits of hybrid vehicles as a ‘greener’ alternative is due to enhanced fuel economy - travelling further on less fuel - and reduced exhaust emissions. Not every hybrid car is the same, there are three main types to consider.
Mild hybrid vehicles - sometimes called power assist hybrids or battery assisted hybrid vehicles - refer to a hybrid car where the combustion engine is assisted by an electric motor. This allows the car to switch off when needed such as when stopping yet restart immediately. The electric motor may use a form of regenerative braking and help with power assist too but the vehicle can not be operated by electric power alone. It is still primarily a petrol engine powered car or diesel engine car. Ford provides the Puma, Tourneo , Kuga and Ford Transit vans as MHEVs.
As with every hybrid car, there is a combustion engine and an electric motor. But compared to a mild hybrid, the electric motor is more powerful with the electric battery being larger. TThis means more green benefits. Better fuel economy as the car can be powered by the electric motor alone when driven at low speeds and the petrol or diesel engine can be smaller. And, as mentioned above, the combustion engine along with regenerative braking charges the battery so you won’t need to plug it in anywhere. That’s not to say there are not plug-in hybrid cars…The new Mondeo and new Kuga are two HEV’s available at OMC Ford.
Plug in hybrids as the name suggests allow the electric battery in the car to be charged by plugging the car into an external power source, in addition to being charged like other hybrids by the internal engine and the generator getting energy from braking. The main benefit is cost: plugging-in to charge the car’s electric battery can reduce running costs and reduce emissions. The new Kuga, Tourneo and Ford Transit van are all available as plug in hybrids.
If you are interested in fully electric cars, then check out our electric cars in manchester page.
Ford are committed to the development of greener cars and plan by the end of 2020 to have 14 new hybrid and electric cars in the UK.
To talk to a specialist car advisor about switching from a petrol engine or diesel car, please contact us today. Our advisors will help you find the hybrid or electric car that is best for your usual travel needs.
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