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Hybrid vs All Electric – What is the best choice for you?

28th June 2020

Advances in Hybrid and All Electric cars together with a decrease in base price and tax advantages mean that you have even more choice when it comes to mild hybrid, plug in hybrid and all electric vehicles.

28th June 2020

Hybrid vs All Electric – What is the best choice for you?

When considering the question of whether you should go for a hybrid or an All electric car there are a few questions that you might want to answer first including:

  1. What are the differences between a “mild Hybrid”, a Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) and a  Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) and what are the benefits of each?
  2. What are the challenges and benefits of Plug in Hybrid versus an All Electric vehicle?

What kind of car users are best suited to (a) Hybrid, (b) Plug in Hybrid and (c) All Electric    vehicles and what are your hybrid car or hybrid van choices?

Once you have the answers to these questions it’s relatively easy to decide on your fuel source and from there you can narrow down which hybrid car or van to pick on our GO GREEN hybrid and all electric page here.

So let’s start with the first Question: What are the differences between a “mild Hybrid”, a Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) and a Plug In Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV), their respective benefits and the benefits of hybrid?

Mild Hybrids

A Mild Hybrid is exactly as it sounds. A small electric engine is used to support the fossil fuel engine. With some clever engineering a dedicated small battery can be charged by the petrol engine ( and in some cases energy from regenerative braking) in order to boost energy when it makes sense. For example, a small electric engine can be used to keep a car at cruise speed – once it has gained momentum through use of the petrol/diesel engine- in order to coast along at a constant speed without using any fuel. 

More and more large luxury manufacturers are using Mild Hybrid technology by bolting it on to gas guzzlers in order to benefit from both increased fuel economy but also the ability to use the word “hybrid” in their vehicle description.

 Even if you have been under a rock for the last decade you will have come under direct and indirect pressure to “go green” and the car manufacturers are no different – especially now that more and more governments are moving to reward non fossil fuel users and increasingly tax traditional fuel users.

Hybrid Electric Vehicles

A Hybrid Electric Vehicle (HEV) makes more use of an electric engine to help reduce use of fuel. The fuel driven engine and the Electric Engine work together in tandem to get the best efficiency from both types of propulsion.

Manufacturers such as Toyota and Hyundai have been at the forefront of this type of technology. Every time you get in a Toyota Prius taxi you are riding in a HEV which gets its energy from the act of braking or deacceleration and also from the internal combustion engine which keeps the electric engine’s battery topped up.

Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicles

A Plug in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV) is at the top end of the hybrid engines. As it says on the tin, you plug the Battery into a charging source which could be at your home or your work or even at a motorway services station. 

The PHEV battery is generally much larger than for a mild hybrid or a HEV. The benefits of a PHEV are measured in its electric only range. In General the ranges tend to start around 20 Miles to 40 Miles which will get most people around their home neighbourhood so that they can take the kids to school, go to the shops, gym, work ( if they live reasonably close) without using any fossil fuel energy and also preventing and “range anxiety” which you can get in an all electric vehicle . 

One of the big advantages of these types of PHEV hybrids is that they perform exceptionally well when running chores close to home but if you want to go on a longer business trip or go to the seaside on holiday, the internal combustion engine is always there to do the heavy lifting once the electric only range is exhausted. 

PHEV cars like the Mini Countryman PHEV and commercial vehicles vans like the Ford Transit Custom PHEV allow their owners to benefit from low motoring costs, fantastic miles per gallon figures, low CO2 figures ( which has Benefit in Kind, Road tax and lower emission zones charges in places like London with its Congestion Charge Zone. 

Another point to consider is that PHEV vehicles are generally getting bigger and bigger batteries and better efficiency software so that ranges can now even extend to well over 100 Miles in some vehicles such as the BMW i3 PHEV which can get up to around 126 Miles of all electric range.

So how do you choose between a mild hybrid, a HEV and a PHEV?

When it comes down to it, the mild hybrid cars are really playing at the electric game even if there are some minor benefits and efficiency gains. HEV’s have their place and the advances that the likes of Toyota and Hyundai have made have made a real difference to emissions in cities over the years plus the HEV’s are getting better and better at conserving and using energy. A PHEV car or plug in hybrid van is a great choice if you want real electric gains and if you do a lot of short journeys near where you can top up the electric battery then the PHEV is the best hybrid for you. PHEV vehicles represent a halfway house between internal combustion engines and All Electric vehicles and you don’t have to worry about an energy source if you are on a long trip.

All Electric Vehicles (EV’s)

Let’s take a closer look at All Electric vehicles, advances and advantages so you can compare the advantages of Plug in electric vehicles above with the benefits of all electric vehicles below so make an informed choice.

All Electric Vehicles used to be the choice of very few. Even if the discussion around all electric vehicles was interesting, the combination of range anxiety and real vehicle range, a lack of all electric and hybrid charging points, the time it took to charge the huge batteries and expense to buy in the first place meant that they were not a serious choice for most.

That all changed when Tesla came along. It is hard to underplay the influence that one car manufacturer can make both to the world and to the acceptance of using all electric vehicles. The closest comparison is Ford and the Model T which brought motoring to the masses and changed how we work, where we work and  our options when it comes to recreation like visiting relatives who live relatively far away or even where we go on holiday. Tesla showed the way in how you can do all of this without using fossil fuels which undoubtedly has an effect on health ( such as diesel pollution) and ( depending on what you read/ believe) the stability and  environmental health of our environment.

All Electric vehicle cost prices were still an issue until relatively recently. The cost of setting up new car engine production facilities, expensive research and development of batteries and relatively rare engineering and production expertise meant that your all electric vehicle was pretty much always more expensive to produce than a car or van with a combustion engine.

Now the reality is somewhat different for all electric vehicles. When Tesla started to produce the tesla Model 3 family car with its lithium ion battery in large quantities the production costs came down considerably and along with advances in mass production and battery technology ( both in terms of efficiency and range) and together with more and more hybrid and all electric charging points being available meant that owning or leasing an all electric vehicle is now a very real option.

There is however one major factor consideration that is currently unknown: How long will the batteries actually last and how fast do they degrade?

Right now Tesla has a warranty that lasts 8 years or 50,000 miles so one can assume that from that point the battery life will noticeably degrade. Tesla is currently beefing up its R&D and Tesla are apparently trying to develop a battery that will last over a million miles …game changer and a breakthrough in battery design and efficiency! In the interim there is a very logical option to lease your Model 3 Tesla with its amazing 15 inch infotainment system or an alternative hybrid or all electric vehicle, all of which you can find here in our GO GREEN section of the site which means you don’t need to worry about the battery degrading – it’s someone else’s problem!

Conclusion: The recent advances in All Electric vehicles together with the reduction in the cost of hybrid and all electric production and the tax advantages that come from owning or leasing an electric only vehicle mean that pretty much all of the reasons not to buy or lease one are now part of history.

Leasetree are keen to offset some of the damage we might do to the environment. That’s why we plant a tree in your name for every car sold or leased through the site. We also commit to providing the best deals on mild hybrid, plug in full hybrid and all electric vehicles plus real choice in hybrid cars and all electric vehicles so that you can use these advances in technology and the advantages of hybrid to reduce impact on the environment.