What’s the difference between a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid and an electric car?
The main difference is that an electric car is fully electric while both the hybrid and plug-in hybrid are essentially petrol/diesel-electric.
Hybrid cars use a combination of both petrol and electricity in order to power the car.
However, when it comes to the hybrid and plug-in hybrid, the difference is that the plug-in hybrid can be plugged in and charged. This allows it to drive solely on electric power for what is typically a range of 20 to 40 miles.
In contrast, a standard hybrid charges its own battery when moving, allowing it to provide assistance in low speeds and in acceleration.
Are hybrid cars automatic?
Yes! While a hybrid car could theoretically have a manual transmission, the efficiency of the automatic transmission means that the vast majority of hybrids on the market are automatic. Automatic cars have several advantages such as being arguably easier to drive, less work in busy traffic, more reliable and less distracting for the driver.
How far can I drive with a hybrid car?
Due to the fact that the hybrid car has a conventional motor as well as an electric one, you can expect a similar range, or more, to that of a standard petrol or diesel car.
With a full tank, the petrol CR-V will travel for around 400 miles, whilst the hybrid CR-V has a range of almost 700 miles.
However, a plug-in hybrid has the ability to travel a distance on electricity only. Most plug-in hybrid cars currently on the market offer an all-electric range of 20 to 40 miles.
In terms of the lifetime of the car, the majority of hybrid car warranties cover the vehicle for 100,000 miles. Of course, the longevity of a hybrid car over the years comes down to a number of different factors including the following:
- Make and model of the car
- Driving style
- Frequency and standard of maintenance
- Overall cleanliness
- Load weight
How fast can a hybrid car go?
Due to the fact that the conventional engine in the hybrid car tends to be smaller than that in a comparable conventional car, hybrid cars tends to have less horsepower and torque. However, while electric cars can sometimes have significantly lower top speeds, hybrid cars can usually still reach 100 miles per hour. Over time, we should see car manufacturers producing faster hybrid cars with larger engines and more powerful electric motors. However, the main priority is of course on achieving superior fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
Do hybrid cars drive differently to conventional vehicles?
Driving a hybrid car feels much the same as driving other vehicles. However, there are some more subtle differences, particularly from those who switch over from a manual transmission. That’s because hybrid cars are automatics and, as a result, tend to offer a smoother and quieter ride with less engine noise and vibrations, particularly when accelerating using electricity. When it comes to acceleration, the hybrid provides a more moderate, constant speed since it doesn’t need to go through manual gear changes.
It’s also worth noting that driving a hybrid is a different experience in that the driver learns how best to recharge the battery using the brakes and the resistance from engine braking. By using engine resistance to slow down earlier for traffic lights or a roundabout, for example, the car charges its battery more quickly and frequently, making for a more fuel-efficient drive.
What does a regular service for a hybrid car involve?
A regular service of a hybrid car is much the same as a normal petrol or diesel car. Are hybrid car maintenance costs higher? No, it’s important to know that service and minor repairs on a hybrid car are no higher than that of a regular car. Hybrids have been around long enough that mechanics are used to working on them. The conventional engine in a hybrid car requires the same work as that of any other car. Generally speaking, there’s less wear and tear on a hybrid’s engine since it lets the electric motor take over in low speeds.
There’s no special regular maintenance required on the hybrid system itself. However, if part of the hybrid system fails after the warranty has ended (most warranties are around 8 years), there may be a fair price to pay. For example, the cost of replacing a battery can be as much as £2,000. However, it is worth bearing in mind that this cost will only reduce as hybrid and electric cars become more commonplace, plus most owners will not own their car for more than eight years.