Knowing you want to improve your carbon footprint or enjoy a cleaner driving experience is one thing. But with so many vehicles on the market offering different qualities, it can be difficult to know whether a hybrid, plug-in hybrid or an electric vehicle is right for you.
Understanding the difference between each vehicle type is crucial, so here are some key details to help you make an informed decision.
Hybrid vehicles have two sources of power that work in harmony together – a petrol or diesel engine and a battery-driven electric motor. Hybrids have been designed with efficiency in mind and effortlessly switch between engine power and electric power to ensure the vehicle performs in the most economical way possible.
Plug-in hybrids are similar to the hybrid vehicles mentioned above in that they switch between using the diesel/petrol engine and electric motor to improve efficiency. The difference is, unlike regular hybrids, plug-ins come with a higher-capacity battery and can be plugged-in to drive short distances on all-electric power. So, if you regularly make short trips and very rarely go on long adventures, this is a great way to keep your on-road activity free from fuel consumption.
If you don’t want to plug-in the hybrid you don’t have to. It will simply function as a regular hybrid.
All-electric vehicles are different from hybrids and plug-in hybrids as they are powered by an electric motor only, meaning they produce absolutely no emissions. They must be plugged in to recharge the battery.
Interestingly, electric vehicles also use what’s known as regenerative braking. This captures energy that would otherwise be lost through braking and uses the motor (that continues to spin as the car slows down) as a generator to create electricity which recharges the battery. Hybrids and plug-ins tend to use regenerative braking too.