Everything You Need to Know About Driving a Hybrid Car
When it comes to choosing a hybrid car, the options available can be confusing in comparison to traditional petrol cars. Knowing how hybrid cars work and selecting the one that best suits your lifestyle is crucial to ensuring many happy road miles in your new vehicle. Let’s take a look at how a hybrid car works, and some of the differences that your new hybrid may offer in comparison to a petrol or diesel car.
How Does a Hybrid Car Work?
Hybrid vehicles combine the power of electric motors with traditional style petrol engines. By sharing propulsion with gasoline and electric, the car becomes more efficient, meaning lower fuel consumption, resulting in savings at the pump.
Hybrid cars have become a popular choice of vehicle in recent years due to their lesser impact on the environment. With less Co2 emissions, hybrid cars are vastly more eco-friendly than their fuel-consuming cousins. Consequently, most hybrid cars are cheaper to tax, and again, save you money on transport costs.
Four Kinds of Hybrid
There are four types of hybrid vehicle available on the market, and each use a combination of electricity and petrol differently. The Series hybrid relies solely on an electric motor and drive wheels for propulsion, and only has a petrol engine to charge the battery.
A Parallel hybrid has a petrol engine and an electric motor that works together in perfect harmony to power the hybrid car. The petrol engine is the vehicle’s powerhouse. It does most of the work to get the car from A to B, whilst the electric motor kicks in to give the car a boost whilst in motion, saving on fuel consumption.
The Series-parallel hybrid is a combination of the latter two vehicles. It has a petrol engine and an electric motor. The car can be driven solely by electric or petrol, whilst the petrol engine keeps the battery charged.
A Plug-in hybrid or PHEV is a more modern addition to the hybrid line-up. The car still has both a petrol engine and an electric motor. The petrol engine is intended to charge the vehicle’s battery with the benefit of being able to plug the car into a charge point for minimum fuel consumption.
The Difference in Driving Experience
The differences between driving a traditional car and hybrid car is worth familiarising yourself with before getting behind the wheel.
Feel and Sound
Hybrid cars feel and sound different from conventional vehicles. The ride in a hybrid car is often a lot smoother, and the sound from the vehicle will be a lot quieter. Although these are both advantages, it can take a few trips to familiarise yourself with the change.
Most hybrids are slower to accelerate when using electric-only, and in some vehicles, the petrol engine is needed when trying to reach higher speeds.
Braking can also feel different on some models of hybrid. It can often feel as though the amount of pressure being applied to the brakes is disproportionate to the braking action. Depending on the type of hybrid, the car’s battery will partially recharge as the driver applies the brakes.
We have a wide variety of vehicles available on our fleet and are planning to extend our hybrid range whilst also looking into the possibility of running electric vehicles.